There are plenty of reasons to love springtime, but one of the biggest is a low energy bill. Coming out of winter, it’s easy to keep your home cool without running an AC unit—all you need to do is crack a few windows.
But once we’ve crossed the threshold of summer solstice, keeping the windows open won’t be enough to beat the heat. So how can you keep energy usage down while the temperatures go up? Here are a few simple steps to make the most of your dollars this summer:
1) Don’t Skip the Tune Up
Scheduling regular professional maintenance for your air conditioner, swamp cooler, or home furnace will maximize the efficiency of your cooling unit while keeping costs down. Making that appointment early in the season ensures you’ll limit wasted energy and emergency fixes when temperatures start to spike.
2) Keep Your Filters Clean
You don’t always have to call the pros to keep things running smoothly. Maintaining the cleanliness of your air conditioner’s filters is another quick and easy way to reduce energy consumption. Plan to change your air filters on your own every 4–6 weeks to preserve the function, efficiency, and lifespan of your air conditioning unit.
3) Maintain the Magic Number
Keeping your unit at a comfortable 78 degrees is the most energy efficient temperature to stay cool at home. Upping it to 85 degrees or more while you’re away will help you save even more. You’ll end up saving quite a bit on your summer cooling costs with each degree your set your thermostat above 78 degrees.
4) Let Your Drapes Do the Hard Work
The same shades that help you sleep at night will help your air conditioner rest during the day. Installing light-blocking curtains—especially in east- and west-facing rooms—will help keep the heat out.
5) Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Investing in ENERGY STAR® appliances for your home will help you save money all year long. Keep your eye out for the ENERGY STAR label in stores or find ENERGY STAR certified products online. If you can’t justify spending hundreds on all new equipment, consider changing out your light bulbs for energy-saving models. Small changes will still help whittle down your energy usage.
6) Install Ceiling Fans
Fans help create a wind-chill effect to cool you off without decreasing the room’s baseline temperature. In fact, you could set your air conditioner up to 4 degrees higher—and maintain the same level of comfort—simply by installing a ceiling fan. Just be sure to turn off that fan when you head out the door, as this cooling effect only applies when you’re in the room. If you’re not home, your running fan is wasting kilowatts.
7) Eliminate Secret Energy Wasters
Cracks and gaps in doors could be letting in warm air behind your back. Plugged-in appliances could be zapping electricity while you sleep. Even sneaky little openings in your windows could be wasting dollars. Be sure to seal off all entryways and unplug items like microwaves, gaming consoles, lights, and battery chargers when not in use.
Brought to you by amigoenergy