The summer months are notorious – not only for high temperatures, but also for high energy use. But there are plenty of things you can do to conserve energy and keep your energy bill in check. Use the following tips to keep cool and save money when the temperatures climb.
Turning your AC off while you’re sleeping can result in huge savings. Even adjusting the temperature before you leave your house (assuming nobody will be home) will yield savings. In the summer, the thermostat should be set no lower than 78°F to 80°F. For every degree the thermostat is raised, 4% to 8% can be saved on cooling costs.
A programmable thermostat is a very energy-efficient tool. It allows you to program what hours your home will be vacant and when you will be asleep. During those times, it will adjust the temperature of your home accordingly. This removes the hassle of constantly adjusting your thermostat and the dread of coming home to a scorching house.
In order for an air conditioning unit to function efficiently, its filters, coils, and fins must be maintained regularly. Simply put: a clean air conditioner is an effective one. The most crucial piece of maintenance that will ensure the maximization of your air conditioner is routinely replacing or cleaning its filters. Clogged and dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. Dirt and debris in the unit will obstruct airflow and possibly impair the evaporator. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
A ceiling fan is a great tool to use alongside your air conditioner. A ceiling fan will cool the room by approximately 4 degrees, allowing you to then turn the thermostat down accordingly.
When it’s hot and humid out, it’s best to skip right over recipes that start with “Preheat oven to …, instead use a microwave oven, grill outside or try some new salad recipes. Lights are another heat maker, only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat. Purchase ENERGY STAR lighting products that save energy and that run cooler. And consider air drying both dishes and clothing.
Window treatments or coverings don’t just decorate your home, they can also help you save energy. Some carefully selected window treatments can prevent your house from heating up under the summer sun. There are two options for window treatments: blinds and drapes. When fully pulled down and closed over a window with a lot of sun exposure, blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45%. During summer days, you can close draperies on windows receiving direct sunlight to prevent heat gain as well. Drapes can reduce heat gain by 33%.