Are your expensive summer power bills making energy conservation look more attractive? Believe it or not, it is possible to keep your energy costs - and checking account - looking good while still remaining comfortable.
Save energy beautifully without compromising comfort with these 10 tips:
- Don’t let yourself go – keep up with cooling needs.
Get to know optimum thermostat settings. Seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months is ideal, raising the temperature by 5 degrees (or more) when you leave home for an extended period of time. Make it effortless by upgrading to a programmable thermostat, such as a Wi-Fi model, which handle temperature settings for you and also allow for remote operation via smart device.
- Be high maintenance – keep your system clean.
Clogged, dirty air filters reduce efficiency. Clean or change filters no longer than every 3 months. Keep your outside unit clean as well - shrubbery, dirt and debris can limit air circulation. Can’t remember the last time you had your AC professionally serviced? You could be wasting a lot of dough. Properly functioning equipment uses less energy and prevents untimely wear-and-tear, and that’s why annual service is recommended.
- Go for that tousled look – use fans.
Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect, allowing you to adjust thermostat settings by 4-7 degrees F (up to a 30 percent savings!) and still remain comfortable. Ensure savings by verifying a counterclockwise motion during the summer months, and turning off fans when you leave the room (fans cool people – not rooms).
- Maintain your composure – address air leaks and insulation needs.
Ensure your attic and walls have adequate insulation levels for your climate zone. Check ductwork for leaks and make certain ducting in unconditioned areas is well insulated. Don’t neglect leaks in the perimeter of your home, such as under doors, around windows, and where pipes and wires enter/exit your home – they can be the equivalent of a window constantly left open!
- Lighten your look – with energy efficient lighting upgrades.
Lighting accounts for up to 12 percent of your energy budget, and those old school incandescents give off 90 percent of their energy as heat, taking a toll on AC. When bulbs burn out, replace them with CFLs (use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer) or LEDs (use 80 percent less and last 25 times longer) for substantial savings.
- Prevent overexposure – protect yourself from the sun.
Reduce heat gain and AC use by using shades wisely, closing heavy drapes and blinds during the hottest parts of the day. Your AC can suffer from sun exposure as well. If possible, position it on the shady side of your home (north) to keep it cool.
- Go for hot, not smokin’ – turn your water heater down.
Hot water can burn up as much as 18 percent of your energy budget. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for ample hot water and energy savings.
- Watch your “waste” line – use appliances wisely.
Use energy saving settings on large appliances. Operate dishwashers, washers, and dryers only when full, preferably at night or when temperatures are cooler. Opt for microwave or outdoor/grille cooking during the hottest times of the day. Remember refrigerators/freezers use less energy when full and make sure to pack them accordingly.
- Sweat the small stuff – avoid energy vampires.
Small appliances - microwaves, toasters, TVs, DVDs – are energy vampires, consuming energy even when not in use. Don’t let them drain your budget. Plug them into power strips.
- Keep up appearances – with effective landscaping.
Properly placed trees and shrubs not only look good and add value to your property, but also save energy and keep you comfortable. Groundcover is cooler than pavement, and “shade” trees not only offer summer sun protection, but winter wind protection as well. Plant broadleaf trees 10 feet from the west, east, or northwest walls of your home, and evergreens on the north and west sides for the best effect.
Are you a perfect ten? Knockout energy savings goals with the help of Aire Serv® and keep your electric bill looking good. Contact us today!