Rising electricity costs hurt families’ pockets, taking a toll on people on fixed incomes, who are on a tight budget, who are trying to save to buy a home, and / or who simply prefer to save money rather than paying so much each month on their power bill.
If you’re frustrated with power costs and worry about the hot summer months when the air conditioner adds to those expenses, there are ways to cut your cooling costs without having to suffer through the costs or worse, having to leave the air conditioner off because you just can’t afford it.
Some of these tips apply to your existing home and some of them may make you want to consider the type of home that you live in.
Invest in a Newer Air Conditioner
Do you have older air conditioning units that work alright but that cost a fortune? Or, do you strive to keep your house or apartment cool with a portable AC unit that you wheel from room to room? Newer air conditioners are more energy efficient and can quickly pay for themselves in energy savings.
Air Conditioner Maintenance
If you’ve got central air conditioning and can’t invest in a new, more efficient unit any time soon, you may want to consider HVAC maintenance plans that involve a regular cleaning, calibration, and tune-up your equipment, which can help you keep energy costs lower as well as extend the life of your HVAC system.
Be Power Conscious
It stands to reason that if you’re not going to be home, you shouldn’t leave the AC on all day.
Here are more tips:
- Close window coverings. Drawn drapes or blinds keep rooms cooler.
- Install ceiling fans in as many rooms as possible.
- Save heat-generating activities for nighttime. Consider alternatives to the oven during a heat wave. Save clothes drying until dark. Better yet, invest in a clothes line and let the sun dry your clothes.
- Set timers for air conditioners. Avoid wasted power usage without having to come home to a sweltering hot house by having the air conditioning kick in shortly before you’ll get home from work.
- Invest in LED bulbs at home. They last a lot longer than typical energy-saving bulbs and further trim your energy costs.
- Don’t constantly run the air conditioner. There may be days when it’s absolutely essential. Other days, perhaps you’ll only need to run it part of the day.
Manufactured Homes Are Cheaper on Utilities
Have you compared traditional home cooling costs vs. mobile home cooling costs? This is important for those hoping to buy a home in the near future.
More people than ever are buying and renting mobile homes to save on housing and maintenance costs. Manufactured home communities offer substantial cost savings in buying or renting as well as the cost associated with maintaining those homes.
With less square footage than traditional homes, your costs to heat and cool will shrink. And if you buy a brand new mobile home, you’ll get great energy ratings on all your appliances as well as great R-value for the construction of the home, which will provide additional energy cost savings. And these homes are often designed with maximum efficiency in mind. Even families find that while they are lower on square footage, they’re designed for family living. More seniors are downsizing to these homes, too.
Buy the Right Sized AC Unit
Calculate the size of an AC unit needed based on the square footage of the home so that you don’t buy a unit with more BTUs than needed, or so that you don’t buy one that doesn’t have enough capacity. In either case, your power bills will suffer and if you’re using too large an AC unit, you’re also at risk for excess humidity that can lead to mildew and mold.
When it boils down to it, air conditioning isn’t considered a luxury, especially if you have infants, elderly loved ones, allergies, or respiratory issues. It doesn’t have to break the bank to keep your home cool and the right equipment, the right approach to energy consumption, and keeping the above tips in mind can all help you stay comfortable on the hottest days of the year.
If you’re trying to save money to be able to buy a new home, consider a new mobile home, too, as it’ll save on the housing costs as well as provide significant energy savings.