Summer Energy Tips
In the summertime, electricity use is at its highest. For most customers, cooling costs are the largest portion of their bill. Here are a few energy tips that work to reduce energy costs:
For central systems in extreme heat, a one degree decrease in the thermostat setting could produce a 5% cost savings.
Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling or floor fans use very little energy and when used can make a room feel several degrees cooler.
Keep Curtains and Blinds Shut
This is especially important for east and west facing windows. Trees, awnings, window tinting and/or solar screens will stop direct sunlight before it enters your house and is a very cost-effective measure.
Keep the Doors Closed
Contrary to popular belief, storm doors are usually not very effective as heat transfer barrier. Try to close the prime door whenever entering or exiting the house.
Change Air Filters
Clean or change air filters every month on a window unit or a central system. This practice is especially important during heavy usage months. Dirty filters can cause a strain on air conditioners, causing them to run longer.
Have Your Air Conditioner Checked
Air conditioners compress gas and then allow it to expand in order to produce cool air temperatures. If your unit is not properly charged with this gas your bill may skyrocket. To avoid this scenario, have your unit serviced at least every three years and listen during the summer to see how long it runs. If it does not cycle on and off frequently at night or in moderate temperatures, you could be in for a large utility bill. Also, have your duct work checked to make sure that portions have not become detached.
Insulate Attic Access Door
If your home has an attic, there will be an access door leading to it, but unfortunately, most of them are not insulated. This small opening allows 150-degree attic air to enter your home if not insulated.
Purchase CFL or, even better, LED Light Bulbs to Replace Old Incandescent Bulbs
Replacing old-style incandescent light bulbs in your home with either Compact Flourescent or LED lights can make a real difference in your energy use. CFL light bulbs used 25-35% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but for an even more efficient choice, and with a better environmental impact, go with LEDs. Residential LEDs, especially those rated by ENERGY STAR, use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. These bulbs will fit into existing light fixtures. Although more expensive to purchase, their effiency and the fact that they do not put off significant heat for the air conditioner to remove makes them a great choice in the long run. They usually last about 7 times longer than regularly incandescent bulbs.
Other Money Saving Tips