Summer is on the way and soon homeowners will be looking for ways to seriously cool off. With energy costs soaring, they’ll also be looking for ways to cut costs. One way is using a window air conditioner installed in an energy-efficient window. When comparing window air conditioners to central air-cooling units the efficiency ratings may be higher, but a window AC will still save you money.
Here’s when a window AC is more efficient:
- When your or your family is spending most of the time primarily in one room. However, the use of a window air conditioner alone will not save on energy costs if your cold air easily escapes.
Here are some tips to help save on energy costs while using a window AC:
- Make sure your doors and windows are well sealed. Check your window unit. Is cool air escaping around the sides of the unit? Is your window unit the proper size? If not, you’ll pay a lot more to cool your home.
- Drapes and blinds can be used to block sunlight. Direct sunlight can raise the temperature of the room by 10 degrees or more. Blocking direct sunlight allows less heat to warm your room and the less you let in the less you will have to pay to remove it.
- Clean your air conditioning filter monthly. A dirty filter will make your window unit work harder and that means more electricity. Most home improvement stores sell permanent filters which can be easily rinsed off so filters don’t have to be replaced every month.
- The use of energy efficient storm doors and windows can also cut cooling costs. If the cost of installing new storm doors or windows is keeping you from making your home more energy efficient you might want to reconsider. Energy costs can be reduced by 50% by replacing single pane glass.
In a typical home, air conditioning costs account for 16% of the home’s total electricity use. A window unit air conditioner uses 500 to 1440 watts and the average central system uses about 3500 watts. If you’re already using a window unit to cool your home give yourself a pat on the back. Chances are your carbon footprint is less than your neighbors who have an energy efficient central air cooling system.