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3 Reasons Why Your Home Cooling Costs Fluctuate

by Sara Cook

You keep the temperature on your air conditioner unit set the same all the time. Yet, sometimes your bill seems to follow an average, and sometimes it's considerably higher. What could be wrong? While it's hard to determine the exact cause of cost fluctuations, there are some culprits that are often to blame. 

1. Ventilation

The exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom serve an important purpose, in that they help circulate air, more importantly, moist, humid air. If you've gotten out of the habit of turning on the fan when you cook, shower, or bathe, you could be increasing the humidity level inside your home. 

As the humidity increases, the air temperature increases and forces your air conditioner to power on. Make sure everyone in the house is using the exhaust fans regularly. If your laundry room has an exhaust fan, ensure you turn it on whenever you wash or dry a load of clothes. 

2. Air Filter

If your cooling bill shot up one month and it never came back down, the problem could be a clogged air filter. The air filter inside your cooling unit keeps debris and allergens out of your home by trapping them. Once the amount of trapped particles becomes excessive, it causes the filter to clog.

Since all the cooled air passes through the filter screen, a clog will reduce the level of airflow from your unit. Less cool air flowing through your home increases the time it takes for the air temperature to reach the optimal setting, which means more energy consumption by the unit and increased costs on your end. 

3. Window Coverings

Have you been opening your window shades more often than normal? If so, this practice could be the reason why your cooling costs seem to fluctuate. Opening a window during the day, particularly a warm day, is great for natural light, but you're also allowing in a great deal of heat. 

Keep in mind; even an energy-efficient window will allow some level of UV rays to travel through the glass and elevate your home's air temperature. It's best to keep your windows closed during the day. If you must allow in the natural light, only open the windows that face the opposite direction as the sun. 

Once you know how your system operates, you can work to keep your home's cooling cost more level. For all your repair needs or other air conditioner-related concerns, contact an HVAC maintenance professional.