After a long, hot, summer day, a cool, air-conditioned home sounds like the perfect remedy. While cooling down with a strong air conditioner is appealing, ACs are one of the single largest energy users in a home. Unlike heating systems, AC units use energy to remove heat from a space, relocating hot air outdoors. Newer homes sometimes have central air conditioners that are connected to a programmable thermostat that turns the AC on automatically to reach the desired room temperature. Central AC, however, is a huge energy consumer that is often misused. Setting your thermostat lower than necessary doesn’t make the cool air come out faster, but does drain a lot of power—fans can use 98% less!
Consider using built-in or portable fans to cool your home. Using a window fan or installing a ceiling fan will help circulate warm and cool air in a room. Fans, along with open windows and doors, will carry breezes into your home, creating a comfortable indoor atmosphere while using far less energy than an air conditioner. There are a variety of options to consider when installing a fan, including ceiling fans (with or without ventilation ducts) and whole-house fans, which draw unwanted air into the attic. Portable fans are the easiest way to cool your home with out AC, with window fans that face outward on the downwind side of the house being one of the most effective solutions.
Take Action / Next Steps
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Did you know that if you live in a hot climate, your air conditioner could be costing you over $1000 each year?
Central AC is one of the largest energy users in a home and is typically only
used during the summer. To get a rough estimate of how much your air conditioner is costing you each month, subtract your
electric bill from a spring month (when you don’t use the AC or heat) from your bill during the summer. Multiply this
monthly cost by the number of months you use the AC for your annual cost.