5 Summer Energy Saver Tips
Summer is hot, and there’s no getting around it. Temperatures in many parts of the country hover somewhere around unbearable and pure torture, and it leaves everyone sweating outside and seeking relief in your air-conditioned homes. It also means homeowners see a significant spike in the cost of your utility bills, and that leaves homeowners wondering if you should sacrifice your comfort for your pocketbook. It’s a tough decision this time of year, which is why you’ll be pleased to know there are several ways you can save some energy without spending a fortune.
Embrace Cooking Outside
One of the fastest ways to heat up the house and waste energy is cooking inside during the summer. The oven and stove heat up the kitchen significantly, and you might find yourself sweating and lowering the thermostat. Forgo indoor cooking and embrace cooking dinner on the grill while the sun is setting and the temperature is a little more bearable.
Another great idea to stop wasting money with your appliances is to use the great outdoors to help with laundry. Hang your clothes outside to dry during the summer. The air is fresh, and it keeps your home cooler and your energy costs to a minimum.
Be Consistent With Your Thermostat
No one knows what will make you comfortable but you, but you also need to pick a temperature and stick with it. Your air conditioner uses a lot of energy to meet your ever-changing demands throughout the day. This means switching the air to 75 in the morning and at night and cranking it down to 71 all day is only making it work harder. The harder it works the more energy it uses. Pick one temperature and leave it alone.
Check the Windows and Doors
A lot of energy is wasted when your seals are improperly put together, broken, or just old. If you want to save money on energy this summer, it’s time to check that all your caulk and weather stripping are in proper condition. If they’re not, they could be allowing ample heat to enter the house while precious air escapes. If anything is improperly sealed, it’s time to fix that now and see just how much energy you save.
Ceiling fans are some of the most helpful and under-utilized tools in keeping homes cool during the summer. The fans take the cool air and recirculate it into the house to help keep you cool and comfortable. If you’re not using your fans at night and during the day, you’re wasting energy. It’s especially helpful to keep them on at night to keep cool air flowing all the time. This allows you to turn your air up and still feel as cool as you did when it was down.
Maintain Your HVAC System
The biggest mistake you can make is running your HVAC without checking it regularly for issues. Yearly maintenance can keep it running smoothly, which translates into less wasted energy. Small issues are easily located, fixed without fanfare, and things work more efficiently. Ignoring basic maintenance is a problem because it allows your system to become damaged, to work less efficiently, and to break down faster over time.
There are dozens of things you can do to stop wasting energy at home all summer, including removing your lamps and televisions from near your thermostat to reduce the heat it senses and investing in a smart thermostat. These get to know your habits and schedules, and they work to adjust to your preferences to save you as much energy as possible while maintaining the same level of comfort you prefer.
How To Make Sure Your A/C Doesn’t Go Out This Summer
Everybody loves summer but not the heat that threatens to bake everything inside our homes. During such times, the AC is usually our most reliable source of help. However, it is not uncommon for air conditioners to breakdown when needed most. The following are tips to make sure your AC serves you effectively this summer.
Protect your unit from debris
The venting system being located on the outside of your home is prone to blockage. Adequate airflow is essential for the smooth running of your AC. If the vents are blocked, your air conditioner will be strained reducing its efficiency. This will not only translate to higher power bills, but it can also lessen the lifespan of your unit and make it more susceptible to breakdowns. Always ensure that you trim shrubs, grasses or branches around your air conditioner to ensure a proper airflow. It is necessary that you leave a space of about two to four feet between any vegetation and your outdoor unit.
Check the filter
The function of the air filter is to improve the quality of air that gets into your home. It filters off dust, dirt particles and allergens present in air sucked from the outside. Air filters should be changed once a month because they are easily clogged by dirt. HVAC experts note that clogged air filters are one of the leading causes of AC breakdowns. Moreover, a dirty filter can endanger the health of your family and increase the running costs of your system. The filter has a screen like appearance and is easy to locate. Most HVAC systems have filters located inside the blower area or in the ceiling air grille.
Keep your unit in the shade
The location of your outside unit matters and can affect its longevity and performance. A unit that is exposed to direct sunlight is forced to work harder than one located in a cooler area. The reason is that an AC has to cool the air around it before blowing it into the house. Shaded areas have cooler air which requires little or no cooling. Ideally, it is best to have your unit located on the northern side of your home. However, you can provide shade by constructing an awning or planting trees. The U.S Department of Energy says that shading your AC by planting trees can increase its efficiency by as much as 10 percent.
Even if you are a DIY person, it is important to have your AC inspected and tuned up by a professional before summer begins. An HVAC technician can do a thorough cleaning of your system, replace worn out parts and make repairs to prevent a breakdown. They can identify and address minor issues before they cause major problems that can be difficult to fix. When choosing a professional company, ensure that they are licensed and insured so that your properties are covered against damage. You will also realize that experienced professionals do a better job than those who are just starting out.
Replace old AC models
If your AC is older than fifteen years, it probably needs to be replaced. Older AC models are less energy efficient and more likely to break down than newer models. When upgrading, choose an AC that has an energy star. Energy Star rated equipment can cut your power bill by as much as $115 per year.