Summer is here and it’s shaping up to be hot. It’s tempting to crank up the AC, but getting a higher energy bill can be a real strain on the wallet.
Resist the urge to blast the cold air, and try some cost effective cool down tricks. You can easily cut your energy bills without taking a toll on your comfort level within your home.
Beat the heat by following these 5 energy efficiency guidelines:
1. Control Your Appliances
Unplug It: If you’re not using your electronic devices, or lights, be sure to turn them off and unplug them from the wall. Computers, chargers, TVs and other gadgets still suck up electricity – even when they’re not on!
Clean the Coils: Increase your refrigerator temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and clean the condenser coils behind the fridge to reduce some strain on your energy bill.
Switch Out Your Bulbs: By replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, you’re saving energy and cooling down your space. CFL bulbs don’t use as much energy and consequently don’t give off as much heat as traditional light bulbs. The heat from the incandescent is wasted energy, and the CFL bulbs focus all their energy on the light source
To learn more on lighting efficiency, check out Energy Tip: Lighting Matters.
2. Take Care of Cold Air
Support Your AC: If you do use an air conditioner, give it some care to help it run better. Replace the air filter if it is dirty, and if it’s programmable, schedule the system to warm up a few degrees when no one is home.
For more tips on cold air care, check out some of our past energy tips on programmable thermostats and HVAC tune-ups.
3. Pull The Shades
Window shades: Not only do curtains, blinds, drapes and shades add an aesthetic quality to your decor, they also help keep the heat out! If you draw the shades during the day, you help to reflect sunlight coming in to your space and heating things up. You can purchase specially insulated drapes just for this purpose (and they’ll help keep the heat in come wintertime!)
For more windows tips, check out Energy Tip: Windows Dressed for Success from our previous newsletter.
4. Keep Your Cool Air FAN-tasitic
Use fans wisely! During cooler days, and always during summer evenings, open windows and use ceiling fans instead of operating the AC. If the heat is just too unbearable, turn the AC no lower than 75 degrees and run the fans to help circulate the cool air.
Even more tips on how to keep your fan use “balanced” in this months newsletter
Energy Tip: Balance Your Fan Use.
5. Schedule a Home Energy Assessment
A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® whole home energy assessment informs you how to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. Contact the Energy Alliance today to get started!