Cooling Your Home on a Budget: How to Pick the Right Air Conditioner

Air conditionerLearn how you can cool your home by choosing the right air conditioner.

While most people may take air conditioning for granted, it accounts for about 15% of all energy used in the average American home. It can even account for as much as 70% of the summer electric bill in the warmer regions of the country. Given these figures, it is not surprising how Americans manage to spend more than $22 billion a year on electricity in cooling their homes.

So, how do you cool your home without drying up your bank account? Here are some tips that may help you cut your energy costs without sacrificing your comfort.?

Use the right size for your room. Most consumers choose a unit that is too large for their room to ensure that the space will cool quickly. While this may be true, choosing a larger unit often leaves the room cold, damp and clammy since by cooling the space quickly, the thermostat is forced to shut the unit down before the humidity level is effectively reduced. In addition, a larger unit will cycle more than necessary thereby putting more strain to the compressor and consuming more electricity in the process. To determine the appropriate air conditioner for your room, seek the help of a good contractor or refer to the Energy Star website.?

Use a ceiling fan. Using a ceiling fan with your air conditioner can make the room cooler by up to 3 to 8 degrees. Thus, you can raise the temperature setting on your air conditioner without making you feel uncomfortable. This can also help you save money on electricity. ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Replace older units. According to the Energy Star website, air conditioning units that are at least 10 years old use 35% more electricity while those that are 15 years old use 43% more electricity than the newer Energy Star qualified models. As such, replacing your older units can help you save at least $25 (for 10 year old units) and $31 (for 15 year old units) per year. Note: Always choose Energy Star qualified appliances since they are more energy efficient. You may pay more upfront for the unit but the energy savings will more than make up for the difference. ?

Consider upgrading to a central air. Central units may cost more and use more electricity than window units but if you have more than two rooms to cool, you need to seriously consider the benefits that you can get by upgrading to central air conditioning system. Central air conditioning systems are one of the most effective and efficient ways to circulate cool air throughout the house, and are known to improve the air quality inside the home. They also make less noise, are easy to operate, and may improve the resale value of your home.

Choose the right air conditioning unit for your home and you can cool down this summer without busting your budget.