Keeping Energy Costs Low During the Summer
Summertime, And the livin’ is easy… but it also can be costly. Higher energy costs from keeping your home cool, however, are not inevitable. Below are several ways to conserve energy and money without sacrificing comfort.
Ways To Battle The Heat
There is far more you can do to beat the heat than turning your air conditioner off and hoping that global warming is a hoax. In fact, there are many options that do not involve adjusting the AC at all.
First, check around the house for gaps where the heat can get in and the cool can escape. This may involve fixing windows and doors that do not properly close. An investment in inexpensive plastic window film and foam insulation can result in hefty energy saving dividends by giving your air conditioner less to do.
Simply drawing curtains and lowering window shades during the sunniest part of the day can help cut the heat generated in the house. Another hint is to try to decrease the amount you use your oven. Instead, enjoy the outdoors by grilling or make more use of your microwave. Ovens, by their nature, will heat up the house as they cook the meal.
While you look for drafty spots, unplug any electronic devices that are not in regular use. Computers, DVD players, televisions, and such can be sucking energy even when they are turned off. Another option is to invest in a type of electrical plug strip that will cut off the power when it is not required.
Investing In Future Energy Savings
There are some ways to guarantee energy conservation and savings for the future that will demand investing some serious money up front. However, if you home is older and needs a new roof, consider replacing it with a cool roof. These are roofs that are designed to absorb less heat and reflect more sunlight than standard roofs. Some energy savings also can be realized by simply choosing a light colored asphalt.
Heat pumps and other air conditioner systems have a life span of about 10 or 15 years. Even if yours is not that old, consider replacing it with a new model. Many manufacturers have units that can run as much as 40 percent more efficiently than their older cousins.
No matter the age of your air conditioner, it should be inspected and given a tune up at least once a year. Some may want to call in a professional air conditioning technician in the spring and the fall to clean the unit, inspect the ducts, make sure the filters are clean, and check and lubricate the moving parts. Such checkups will not just keep the unit running more efficiently, they can lessen repair costs and extend the life of the system.
Conservation Using The Thermostat
Of course, the most direct way to achieve energy conservation and to cut your power bill is to keep the air conditioner thermostat set to as high a temperature that is comfortable. When away from home, set the temperature even higher. A programmable thermostat can make this easier by using a timer to adjust the temperature automatically.
Help your air conditioner keep things cool by using ceiling and other fans to circulate the air. If temperatures fall to a comfortable level at night, shut off the AC and open the windows.
One of the best ways to reduce your energy costs is by maintaining your air conditioner. Typically, this is what consumes the most energy use in your home when the outside temperatures are rising. H.A.R.E. has service plans available to ensure that your AC unit works well and is as energy efficient as possible. You can save money this summer by contacting us and making sure that your air conditioner is both efficient and effective.