Steps You Can Take To Save Energy
A few tips to help reduce energy use during the hot summer months.
Reducing Summer Power Bills without Spending Money
A key to reducing air conditioning costs during hot summer days is to limit the amount of heat generated within the home or apartment during the afternoon, when temperatures are at their highest.
- Keep lights off when rooms are not in use. Lights generate heat that makes your air conditioner run more.
- Try to wash and dry clothes, iron and cook in the morning or later in the evening.
- Use microwave ovens, which produce much less heat than stoves for cooking.
- Use awnings, curtains, or blinds to keep out direct sunlight. This will keep your house cooler.
- Eliminate activities in the afternoon that require a great deal of in and out through the doors of your home. This allows cool air to escape and hot air to enter the home.
More Efficient Air Conditioning
One of the most inexpensive and effective ways to reduce your air conditioning costs is to adjust your thermostat setting. The savings can be significant when you set your thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. For each degree you raise your thermostat setting, you reduce seasonal cooling costs by 6 to 8 percent.
- Setting the temperature a little higher of around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit , will you save 6 to 8 percent of your cooling costs for each degree above 78, and most people will be comfortable.
- Use a ceiling fan or portable fan to supplement your air conditioning. A fan can make you feel three to four degrees cooler (and only costs a half-cent per hour to operate) so you can set your thermostat a few degrees higher and save on cooling costs. Use in occupied rooms since fans cool people, not rooms.
- Turn off the air conditioning or set the thermostat up a few degrees when you leave home.
- Use Evaporative air coolers for pet areas, or hot areas of the house, instead of turning the thermostat down. Our air coolers cost less than 10 cents a day to operate.
- Be sure your air conditioner is not blocked. A free flowing air conditioner operates most efficiently Be sure the return air grill inside your house is not blocked by furniture or other items. Filters should be checked monthly.
- When air conditioning is on, keep doors and windows closed.
- Turn off kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans when your air conditioning is operating.
- Caulk and weather-strip leaky windows and doors.
- Shade your home from direct sunlight. Use shades, drapes, awnings, trees and shrubs to block the hot sun from heating up your home.
- If you suspect your air conditioning system is not cooling properly, have it checked promptly. A unit that is having operational problems can cause extremely high bills.
- If your air conditioning equipment is older and less efficient, compensate by being extra careful about temperature settings, hours of operation and filter condition.
Biggest Money Saving Improvements
Four tips to provide the greatest energy savings:
- Replacing an old air conditioner with a high efficiency unit (new air conditioners use up to 40% less electricity than older models)
- Sealing leaks in ductwork in your attic (the average home loses 15%-25% of cooling and heating through leaking ducts)
- Adding attic insulation to R-30 (the average 15-year old home has between R-11 and R-15)
- Installing solar screens or awnings on windows hit by direct sunlight (solar screens reflect back 60%-70% of sunlight/heat before it can enter the house)