9 Summer Energy Savings Tips for a Cooler Home
You clip coupons, research online for the best theme park ticket deals, plan affordable meals, and shop the discount stores for sandals and swimsuits for the kids, all so you can stay on budget this summer.
We know saving money is important to you, so at Lancaster Heating and Cooling, we wanted to remind you of ways to save money on your electric bill this summer that will also help keep your family comfortable.
1. Don’t Turn Off Your Thermostat
Many homeowners think this will save them the most money. But, while your air conditioner is off, it allows humidity to build up in your home. When you get back home, your system will have to work extra hard to get that humidity out of the air.
You’ll feel uncomfortable and sticky instead of cool and comfortable when you arrive home. In some cases, excess humidity and heat can lead to mold growth – yuck!
2. Do Set the Temperature Up a Few Degrees
Setting the temperature up a few degrees can help you air conditioner to work less, while still keeping your home relatively cool. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that you can save as much as 1% on your utility bills for every degree you bump the temperature up if the setback period is at least eight hours.
Not only will your system use less energy to stay at a higher temperature, but it will also keep the humidity level in your home steady. We recommend setting your thermostat up no more than five degrees.
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat
The easiest way to control the temperature in your home is to use a programmable thermostat. You can set it for whatever temperature you’d like and keep it there while you’re gone. An added advantage is that you can program it to lower the temperature a few hours before you return so you home is cool and comfy when you get back from your big break.
Bonus Tip: Also, be sure not to put lamps, TV sets, or any other appliances that generate heat near your thermostat.
4. Keep Your Blinds Shut During the Day
Don’t forget to close your blinds when you’re away. This will not only prevent peepers from seeing inside an empty house, it will keep your home from accumulating heat from the sun (solar gain). You don’t want your AC to work any harder than it has to.
5. Open Windows During Cool Summer Nights
While we wouldn’t suggest you open your windows during the day, (and let all that cool air your air conditioner has been working so hard to pump through your home out), there is a time and place when opening your windows can actually help.
On nights when the humidity isn’t too oppressive and the air has cooled off considerably, open some of your windows to allow cool fresh air to circulate throughout your home. Then make sure to close those windows as soon as you get up in the morning to “trap” last night’s cool air inside.
6. Be Good to the Environment & Your Thermostat – Plant Trees
Another way to keep sun rays from entering your home is with landscaping. Plant shade trees that have mature branches with large leaves next to windows that take direct sunlight during the day. Not only will these trees shade your windows from the sun, but they will also help absorb some of the heat. Your air conditioning unit can also benefit from proper shading, but be sure to keep debris away from your unit.
7. Use Your Ceiling Fan for Added Cooling
Use your ceiling fan to your advantage. It doesn’t require a lot of energy to operate, but it can really help circulate cool air throughout a room. Don’t bother leaving fans on while you’re gone, the windchill effect only helps while you’re in the room. Also, be sure that it’s spinning counter clockwise.
8. Stop Heat-Producing Activities
Don’t do activities or use items that produce a lot of heat. Things like long hot showers and running your clothing dryer. Also, don’t use the oven. Use your microwave or stove to cook, grill outside, or eat a cold meal!
9. Tune Up Your Air Conditioner
Lastly, always, ALWAYS, make sure you’ve had an air conditioner tune-up before the summer heat is at its peak. Maintenance is the key to keeping your air conditioner efficient, and preventing untimely breakdowns.