The cost of electricity has risen at a historic rate, and over the past year we’ve seen the highest jump in electricity costs in the last 40 years. Homeowners are looking to save money wherever they can. There are some home maintenance steps that can be taken to make your home more efficient along with adding a whole house fan that uses the cool nighttime air to cool the home ultimately giving the homeowner the biggest break on AC costs. Let's start with the costs and what you can do around your home and then we will explore a newer option for saving money.
AC Makes Up the Largest Utility Cost
Did you know that the cost of running your air conditioner (AC) can vary depending on various factors such as:
- The type and age of the AC unit
- The size of the space being cooled
- The climate
- Energy rates
- Usage patterns
In general, air conditioning can be one of the more expensive utilities, especially during hot summer months when it is used frequently. According to the US Department of Energy, the average cost of running a central air conditioning unit in the US is around 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, which translates to roughly $0.06 to $0.88 per hour depending on the size and efficiency of the unit. The actual cost can vary significantly from this average based on the factors mentioned above. For more specifics in your area, it's best to consult your local utility company or an HVAC professional for more specific information regarding the cost of running air conditioning in your area.
What Can I Do to Cut AC Costs?
Here are some steps you can take as a DIY that can help lower your bills.
- Use a programmable thermostat: This allows you to adjust the temperature of your home according to your schedule and preferences. For example, having the thermostat adjust for times when you are away; so that you are not running the AC as often.
- Regular maintenance: Clean or replace air filters, check and clean condenser coils, and ensure that the AC system is functioning efficiently. When filters are clogged, the system has to work harder to push air through the system.
- Use ceiling fans: Ceiling fans can help to circulate cool air throughout your home, reducing the workload of your AC system.
- Proper insulation: Properly insulate your home to reduce heat transfer, making it easier for your AC to maintain a comfortable temperature. Locate drafty areas of your home and utilize insulation. Air flowing from the outside into your home typically happens around windows or doors. Often, the seals around windows and doors can break down over time.
- Close curtains or blinds: Closing curtains or blinds during the day can block out sunlight, reducing the amount of heat entering your home.
- Use a dehumidifier: High humidity levels can make your home feel warmer than it is, and using a dehumidifier can help to reduce the load on your AC.
- Reduce usage during peak hours: Some utility companies charge higher rates during peak hours, so reducing your usage during these times can save you money.
What Else Can You Do to Lower Your Utility Costs?
To keep your home cool without hurting your wallet, whole-house fans can generate 50 to 90% on electricity costs.
Learn how these fans can help you save money on summer utility bills in this guide.
How do whole-house fans lower energy bills?
As the weather warms up, you might be tempted to turn on your AC. But a whole-house fan can cycle cool, fresh air
throughout your home without the need for air conditioning. The diagram above shows how the whole-house cooling process works.
Whole house fans can help reduce air conditioning costs by providing natural ventilation and cooling to your home. Whole house fans work by pulling in cool air from the outside and pushing out warm air from the inside, which can help to lower the indoor temperature and reduce the need for air conditioning.
When outdoor temperatures are cooler than indoor temperatures, such as during the evening or early morning, a whole house fan can be used to circulate and cool the air inside your home. This can help to reduce the workload of your air conditioning system, which in turn can reduce energy consumption and lower your utility bills.
How much money can I save on AC costs?
whole-house fan uses up to 90% less energy than air conditioning, running on just pennies an hour. The installation cost on these fans can vary based on where you live and whether you decide to install it yourself or hire a contractor. If you decide to hire a contractor, we suggest price shopping with three quotes from local electricians or contractors. Having quotes will let you compare the savings to the costs see how much money whole-house fans save for your family. Check our size calculator to find the best model and get even more accurate quotes.
What’s better at lowering AC costs, attic fans or whole-house fans?
First, let's look at the difference in the two. A whole house fan is designed to cool the entire house by pulling in cool outdoor air through open windows and exhausting hot indoor air out through the attic. It is typically installed in the ceiling of a central hallway or other central location and draws air from the living space below and exhausts it into the attic. Whole-house fans are installed in a central location of your home and offer up to 20 to 30 total air changes every hour, depending on the fan size. This regular air circulation can cool down your entire home for comfort in every room—including the attic. Turn it on at night and shut it off later in the morning for an easy routine, which can cool the average home in about one hour.
An attic fan, on the other hand, is designed to cool the attic space itself. It is typically mounted on the roof or in a gable vent and exhausts hot air from the attic to the outside, helping to reduce the temperature in the attic and prevent heat buildup that can damage the roof and increase cooling costs.
With so many options to choose from, it makes sense to pick the best. If you want your living space to be more comfortable, it’s a whole house fan that you’re looking for. Attic fans could reduce temperatures in your attic by up to 50 degrees, but main living areas only get about 10 degrees cooler.
Choose Whole-House Fans You Can Depend On
Air Health carries whole-house fans from the Everest series and Cascade series to ensure every family gets the perfect model for their home. Both are energy efficient and quiet, operating in the attic for additional insulation from the sound. We also offer Wi-Fi switch assemblies and module packages for smart home controls right on your phone. Get started on reducing your energy bills with Air Health house fans today.