We’re in the midst of traditionally some of the hottest days of the summer. As you enjoy these last few weeks of August (and even September can see some high temps) we’d like to share with you some energy saving tips. You’ll save on your utility bills, and be prepared to save money and conserve energy next summer.
- It’s not too late for an air conditioner tune-up. You’ll get your AC unit in shape this year, and will potentially have less issues to address next year, plus you’ll uncover any hidden issues that could turn into a larger problem if left unresolved. During servicing request that your AC Coil is cleaned. Air conditioning units need sufficient air flow to perform efficiently.
- Set your air conditioner as high as possible, at least to a minimum of 78 degrees when you’re home, and 85 degrees when you’re not home. You use about 3%-5% more energy per degree when your air conditioner is set below 75 degrees F.
- Replace AC filters monthly for the most efficient operation.
- Windows and doors often leak air, and your walls may not have sufficient insulation. Seal leaks around doors and windows, and install weather-stripping and insulation. A home energy audit — available through many local utilities for free or a low cost — can uncover where you’re wasting energy.
- Keep windows, blinds and curtains closed during the day, particularly if those windows face the sun. Even better install heat-trapping blackout curtains or heat control window film on your windows to keep heat out.
- Perform heat producing activities such as cooking and laundry during the cooler hours of the day.
- Air-dry dishes and clothing, and wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Avoid opening doors any more than necessary, particularly on hot days.
- Refrain from activities that generate heat including burning candles, watching TV, and using curling irons or hair dryers.
- Close doors and vents to rooms you aren’t using; e.g. if you have an extra bedroom not currently used don’t waste money cooling it.
- Use pool and spa covers; they can reduce heat loss as much as 90%.
- Use a ceiling fan to provide extra cooling and air circulation. Ceiling fans make you feel cooler, but they use less electricity than your AC unit; a ceiling fan costs about 5 cents per hour to operate. Set the fan in the counterclockwise direction so it pulls cool air from the floor and circulates it. And turn off the fan when you leave the room.
- Install a programmable thermostat and use it. If you are regularly gone during the day it’s easy to set it so your home is warmer while you are gone, but by the time you come home it’s cool. A programmable thermostat can save you as much as $180 yearly in energy costs.
- Replace appliances with Energy Star appliances. Often local utility companies offer rebates for updating your appliances, and the Federal government has programs offering tax breaks for purchasing and installing more energy efficient appliances.
- Plug electronics — such as Blu-ray players, TVs, and gaming systems — into power strips, and turn off the power when they are not in use.
- Move refrigerators and freezers from the garage to an insulated area such as the basement or an unused room. The unit won’t have to work as hard if it’s in a cooler location.