Once hot summer temperatures arrive, they are here to stay for at least a few months. While this may not seem long, if you run the air conditioning all day every day to combat the heat, you will notice an uptick in your energy bills. Even if you are willing to endure the higher prices for cooler temperatures, those energy bills aren’t inevitable. In fact, there are several energy efficiency tips you can remember to cut back on your cooling costs this summer.
Optimize Your Thermostat Settings
The best energy efficiency tip to remember is to take steps to optimize your thermostat. The Department of Energy recommends that homeowners set their thermostat to 78 degrees during the summer months. This can save you about 10% in utility costs each year. If 78 feels too warm for you, you can still save around 3% of cooling costs for each degree you go higher than 72 degrees.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat may be more expensive than traditional models, but it will save you money over the long term. These modern devices can be programmed to reach a specific temperature when you leave your house and return to a different setting when you arrive. Homeowners can also conveniently control their thermostats from a laptop or smartphone.
Update Your Air Conditioner
If you are interested in reducing your monthly utility bills, it may be time to upgrade your air conditioner. Cooling and heating can account for about half of the energy used in an average home, so any changes to your heating and cooling system will impact what you pay. When selecting a new AC unit, look for systems with EER and SEER ratings. These models will provide more energy efficiency than the average unit.
Use Energy-Efficient and Natural Lighting
During the summer, you can enjoy natural lighting for most of the day. Using natural light whenever possible is recommended to decrease any energy usage from your lighting. Even with curtains or blinds used to reduce heat, plenty of natural lighting can still come through. When you do use electrical lighting, make sure your light bulbs are energy-efficient.
Block Out Sunlight
The sun doesn’t just make it hotter outside, but inside as well. Windows intensify the heat of the sun to create a sauna-like atmosphere inside. By closing blinds, curtains, or shutters to block out sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, you can decrease the burden on your air conditioning. Some homeowners also install window awnings to create a permanent shady space above their windows.
Use Ceiling Fans
You may assume that running ceiling fans will increase your energy bills. Actually, ceiling fans, box fans, and standing fans can improve your energy efficiency. When using enough fans, homeowners can turn their thermostat temperature up to that recommended 78-degree level without sacrificing comfort. However, remember to turn off fans once you leave the room.
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