Saving on air conditioning costs is not too difficult when you live alone or with a partner. You turn the thermostat up a few degrees, wear fewer clothes, and take a cool shower if you start feeling too warm. When you have a family, however, lowering AC costs is a bit more challenging. Children will complain when they get too hot, and some may adjust the thermostat without permission.
Reducing AC costs is still possible when you have a family. The following are four tips to help you do just that.
1. Put a Note on the Thermostat
A few years ago, a TODAY article explained how a mom used a note on the thermostat to keep her kids from turning the temperature up during the winter. The note asked if the kids had a sweatshirt on and if they were wearing socks. It forbid them from turning on the heat if they were not already trying to stay warm by wearing these items. You can use a similar note to deter your kids from turning the thermostat down in the summer.
Your note could say, "Are you wearing shorts and a t-shirt only? Have you tried to cool down by drinking cool water? Do you pay the electric bill? If you answered no to any question, do not turn down the thermostat." Kids may occasionally ignore the note, but most will think twice before turning down the temperature after seeing this warning.
2. Lock the Windows
One of the reasons AC costs often go up when you have a family is that family members unknowingly open the windows when the air conditioning is already running. Then, some of your cooled air leaks out and is wasted.
At the beginning of air conditioning season, remind the kids that they cannot open the windows now that the AC is on. Then go around the home and lock all of the windows together. When your kids look at the locked window, they will be reminded of your orders and be deterred from opening the window.
3. Name Someone the Official Filter Changer
With school, work, soccer practice, dance lessons, and other obligations, it's far too easy to overlook simple chores like changing the HVAC filter. Yet replacing a dirty air filter could save you up to 15 percent on energy costs.
To make sure this chore is not forgotten, assign it to one of your children. Replacing the filter is easy; they just pull the old one out and slide a new one into place. Place a few extra filters next to the air conditioner so there's always a new one on hand.
4. Help Kids Slowly Adapt to a Warmer Temperature
If your home is 70 degrees one day and you suddenly turn the temperature up to 76, everyone is going to complain that they are too warm and beg you to turn the temperature back down. However, if you slowly increase the temperature over time, your kids' bodies will have more time to adapt, and they will barely notice the change.
If you have decided to keep your home a little warmer to save on AC bills this summer, turn the temperature up just one degree every three or four days until you reach your desired temperature. Most people are completely comfortable at 76 or 78 degrees if given enough time to adapt.
In addition to following the tips above, make sure you schedule an air conditioner maintenance appointment this spring. Well maintained air conditioners use less energy. Contact us at McGuffee's Air Conditioning & Heating to schedule an appointment today.