10 Ways To Lower Your Energy Bills This Summer
There’s a lot to like about summer. Longer days. No school. Pool time. Vacations…
…but along with those benefits come warmer temperatures, higher humidity, and the annual struggle to keep your home cool and comfortable—without breaking the bank. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating and cooling costs account for about 50% of the average home’s energy budget! But don’t despair. Leveraging a few of our energy-saving tips will go a long way toward helping you lower your energy bills this summer.
1. Conduct a Home Energy Assessment
Sometimes called a home energy audit, this helps you determine how much energy your home uses and where your home’s energy use is inefficient. The results allow you to prioritize the areas you should address first to maximize comfort, conserve the most energy, and save the most money. To learn more about professional and DIY home energy assessments, visit Home Energy Assessments | Department of Energy.
2. Moderate Air Conditioner Use
Every degree your thermostat is raised saves 4–8% on cooling costs. Let that sink in! Setting your thermostat around 78 degrees, along with doing some of the other energy-saving tips below, will keep your home comfortable and your bill lower.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Look into the type of thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature when everyone’s away and begin cooling it off a few hours before they come home. This is particularly helpful if you’re going on vacation. Some models allow you to monitor and adjust your home’s indoor temperature remotely.
4. Switch to ENERGY STAR Appliances
“Energy Star” is a certification given to products by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to products that comply with the government’s strict standards limiting greenhouse emissions. To learn more, go to energystar.gov.
5. Caulk and Weather-Strip
Even the smallest gaps and cracks allow warm air to enter your house while letting cooler, air-conditioned air escape. Caulking and weather-stripping are the two most effective techniques for sealing your home. Caulk is used to fill cracks and gaps in your home’s foundation and stationary elements, while weather-stripping is used to seal operational components, such as doors and operable windows.
Ceiling, floor, and oscillating fans help boost your air-conditioner’s effectiveness by as much as four degrees and use minimal energy. If your house is situated to catch natural cross-ventilation, especially early in the morning or at night, open up those windows and eliminate the need for air conditioning completely—at least for a few hours a day.
7. Draw the Blinds, Close the Drapes
Batten down the hatches as much as possible, especially during the hottest and sunniest parts of the day. Closing curtains or drapes can reduce heat gain by almost a third, and shades and blinds (when fully drawn) can reduce heat gain by nearly half.
8. Clean Unit and Vents
A clean unit is an effective unit. Coils and fins must be maintained regularly, and dirt and debris in the vents must be cleared often. Obstructed air flow will keep your unit from functioning at peak efficiency.
9. Replace Your Filter
This is one of the simplest, least expensive, and most effective things you can do to lower your summer energy costs. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one regularly can lower your air conditioner’s energy use by as much as 15%.
10. Throw Some Shade
You might be surprised at how much the shade produced by strategically placed trees and shrubs can help lower your indoor temperatures. Canvas awnings placed over southern or western windows can also keep afternoon sun from heating up your indoor spaces.
Don’t overlook local rebates and tax incentives for making energy-efficient upgrades. Just search online for “Energy Efficiency Rebates and Tax Credits 2023” to find out if the energy-saving measures you’re considering qualify for some money back.
Whether you need some help with a routine maintenance plan, or some advice on how to make your home “smarter” when it comes to energy use, your friends at Holtzople Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help. Contact Holtzople Heating & Air Conditioning.