50% of your home’s energy costs come from your heating and cooling system. To help increase the longevity and efficiency of your system, we’ve found some helpful tips from www.bounceenergy.com on how to cut electricity costs during the summer months.
1. Change your air filters monthly
A dirty air filter can cost you money because it blocks the air flow, causing your unit to work harder to push cool air through your home. A clean air filter will save you money on energy costs and prolong the life of your air conditioner. Avoid filters that restrict the airflow. Also, there is no such thing as a “3-month” filter. Filters need to be changed when they start to get dirty. This might be 30 days, 60 days, or longer depending on the conditions inside your home.
According to the Energystar.gov website, you can save about $180 annually by using a programmable thermostat (Note: this figure only applies if using the thermostat correctly). Programming temperature changes throughout the day will allow you to maximize the usage of an air conditioner to coincide with the outside conditions (night vs. day). It will also help you by automatically adjusting the temperature up when you are away at work or school (no sense in cooling an empty house for 8+ hours a day). If you are forgetful, this tool is an easy way to automate your savings. Just don’t forget to change the programming for each season!
If you’re looking to upgrade or switch to a programmable thermostat be sure to click on the link below to get a sneak peak at one of the newest and most innovative smart thermostats that will soon be on the market. The Lyric Thermostat by Honeywell is making a name for itself with its many features. Take a look!
3. Ceiling Fans
Fans are an efficient way to make a room comfortable without having to lower the temperature. The air circulation they provide evaporates moisture on your skin, causing you to feel cooler. The combination of fan use and prudent management of your a/c settings will result in overall energy savings. If you do not have ceiling fans, they can be easily installed in almost any room with an overhead light. Also make sure that your fan blades are spinning in the correct direction for the summer months. The fan should blow down in the summer and up in the winter.
4. Use Shades/Blinds
One way to cool your house is by not letting the heat in. Shades and/or blinds provide a great barrier to the outside heat, and not require any electricity usage. If you currently have shades in your home then during the day, remember to keep them closed, especially when the sun is beating down in the afternoon. If you do not have shades or blinds in your home, they can get pretty expensive, so at least try to cover the windows that get the most sun exposure. Another option is solar screens, which block out 90% of the UV rays while still allowing you to see out your windows.
5. Keep plants cut back around unit
Keep shrubs and vines away from your outside a/c unit by at least 12″-24.” The a/c unit needs to “breathe” to operate efficiently.
Proper maintenance of your air conditioning can ensure that your system will operate at its optimal efficiency level. The more efficiently it runs the less energy/money you waste. The best time to have your system serviced is in the winter or early summer, before the 100+ degree days start. Proper maintenance can also prevent many small problems from becoming big, expensive ones later. Call or email us to schedule your annual maintenance.