Save energy this summer
- Katherine D. Rodriguez
Tips and Tricks for Energy Saving
The United States and Canada experienced some hottest summers in the past few years. The nine hottest historical years are 2016, 2015, 2018, 2014, 10, 2013, 2005, and 2009. The summer of 2019 is already on track to continue that trend.
These hot summer days are not only an environmental disaster but can also be disastrous for your wallet. Your home’s heating and cooling systems are responsible for most energy bills. Your AC will run continuously all summer, so you can expect to pay some of your most expensive electric bills between June and September.
You don’t need to spend much money to stay cool in the summer. Following these simple summer energy-saving tips, you can keep your budget and temperature within a comfortable range.
Check your Air ConditioningFor your air conditioner to work efficiently, it needs regular maintenance. Neglecting maintenance will result in poor performance and excessive energy consumption. Professionals may be required to check the coils and fins of the evaporative cooling system, heat pump, and evaporative cooler.
You don’t need a certified HVAC technician to perform a basic A/C check to ensure it works properly. Regularly vacuum your air vents to remove dust and debris. Also, make sure that no furniture or other objects block the airflow. Avoid placing TVs or lamps near your thermostat. This will cause your air conditioner to run longer because the thermostat can sense heat from these devices.
Replace your air filter
Replace your air filter to ensure that your A/C operates smoothly and efficiently. Filters that are clogged or dirty block airflow, reducing the ability of your air conditioner to absorb heat. Replacing a dirty air filter with a new, clean one can lower your A/C energy consumption by up to 15%.
Replace or clean your air conditioner’s filter at least once a month. If your air conditioner is constantly in use, exposed to excessive dust, or you have pets that shed fur, filters must be cleaned more frequently. Filters are mounted on the grill of single-room air conditioners that face the room. The filter is located along the return duct’s length in central air systems. The most common locations include walls, ceilings, and furnaces.
Choose LED light bulbs
Switch to LED bulbs if you still use incandescent bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs are inefficient. About 10 to 15 percent of their electricity is converted into light. The rest is wasted heat. LED lighting is the most energy-efficient option available today. They are 75% more energy efficient, last 25x longer, and run cooler than incandescent bulbs. These lights are a bit more expensive initially, but they quickly pay for themselves through energy savings.
Use Your Thermostat With Care
Set your thermostat to the highest temperature you can comfortably tolerate in summer. Each degree of cooling increases energy consumption by six to eight percent. When your family members are away from home at work or school, keep your house at a higher temperature than usual. Lower the temperature only when you return. While the air conditioner is running, do not lower the thermostat. This will not cool your home faster and could result in energy loss.
A smart thermostat makes these temperature changes easy. Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature for maximum energy efficiency. Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi-enabled devices that learn your habits, preferences, and schedules and automatically adapt to energy-saving temperatures while asleep or away.
You can save money on a new thermostat by searching for rebates and other incentives available in your locality. You can also check with your energy company to see if they offer special discounts on smart thermostats.
You can use fans with your A/C
It is cheaper to run a fan than your air conditioner. Running a fan for a month at 80% speed would cost you only $5 on your electric bill. They don’t produce cold air; they move around the already there air. It creates an airflow that makes people feel more comfortable. However, it doesn’t change the temperature.
Fans work well with air conditioning. If you have air conditioning, ceiling fans will let you set your thermostat 4degF higher without affecting comfort. When you leave your home, remember to turn off the fans. The fans only do a little other than increase your energy bill.
Buy an energy-efficient dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are a great partner for your air conditioner in humid, hot climates. They also help to reduce humidity levels at home. Dehumidifiers can help reduce energy costs by reducing your air conditioner’s workload. Your air conditioner will have to work double-time when the air is humid in your home. It must cool the air and remove moisture. Overworking an A/C will cause it to break more frequently, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
All washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers generate heat. Reduce this heat by washing only with cold water. To avoid overusing the washing machines, only wash full loads of clothes and dishes. Avoid using your clothes dryer entirely. Air-dry your clothes after washing them.
You can also use the cold water technique to wash your body. A cold shower may be tricky to get used to, but it can be refreshing and brisk in the hot summer months.
You can reduce your water heater’s temperature if you use it less. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating can consume 14 to 25% of your energy. You can save money by turning your heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unplug it if you aren’t using it
All electronics, from your computer to the toaster, generate heat. Even when it is switched off, the wiring still generates warmth. Unplug electronics that you are not using to keep them cool. The difference is slight per gadget, but adding all your devices together can be significant.
Seal Your Home
Insulation doesn’t only apply to the winter months. Air leaks are one of the most effective ways to keep cool air in and warm air out. Simple caulking, weatherstripping, and caulking can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.
Sealing your home from these leaks can be simple, inexpensive, and effective. Caulk can be used to seal any cracks or openings that exist between stationary objects, such as door and window frames. Weather stripping should be applied around moving objects, like window sashes or the door.
Check your basement and attic for air leaks. These floors may have gaps in the insulation or be missing weather stripping. Seal small cracks using caulk or foam. Installing or replacing insulation may be necessary for larger holes.