The summer sun quickly drives up outdoor temperatures — and energy bills with it! Rather than perpetually running your air conditioner, some strategic planning can save you energy, leading to lower electric use. Steps you can take to reduce your energy costs are to:
- Open the windows on cool summer evenings and nights. A cool breeze in the evening and overnight can keep you comfortable without the need for turning on the air conditioner.
- During the day, use window treatments such as awnings and blinds to help reduce heat caused by the summer sun — particularly among south-facing windows. Reducing the sun’s heat will reduce the energy needed to cool your home.
- Turning on fans in your house can reduce energy needed to maintain comfort. The Department of Energy reports that a ceiling fan in the room will allow you to raise the thermostat up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit while maintaining the same level of comfort. But turn the fan off when you are done! The couch doesn’t need to be kept cool after you leave the room. Treat fans just like lights — be sure to turn the fan off when you leave the room.
- Routine maintenance schedules will ensure efficiency! Schedule an annual inspection and maintenance to get the most out of your home’s heating and cooling systems. Also, be sure to regularly replace your furnace filter — this single step can ensure your system runs efficiently, minimizing energy waste and saving you money.
- Set a routine schedule for your programmable thermostat to prevent wasting energy. Constantly changing the temperature settings on your thermostat can cause your air conditioner to work much more than needed — wasting energy and costing you money! Newer “smart” thermostats, such as the Nest and Ecobee thermostats, include tools such as energy reports and smart phone controls to help you use your HVAC system as efficiently as possible.
- Seal. Insulate. Equip. Three keys to maximizing your efficiency! Start by sealing any air leaks in your house to prevent your chilled air from escaping — and hot air from seeping indoors. From there, ensure your home is properly insulated, which will help maintain your home’s temperature. Finally, if your house is properly sealed and insulated, you may need to look into updating your HVAC system. You can even receive a POWER MOVES® rebate to help offset the cost of upgrading to a qualifying energy efficient system! By ensuring your house is properly sealed and insulated, you may find that a smaller piece of equipment will keep you comfortable.
- Contact your local electric co-op to schedule an energy audit. This is a great way to learn about your home’s efficiency. Your local cooperative will have a list of contractors conducting energy audits in your area; your co-op may even provide the audit for you. An energy audit will include a thorough review and testing of electricity use in your home, along with recommendations on how to improve your home’s efficiency.
Taking a few extra steps can save you money by reducing your energy use during the summer — and even year-round. To learn more energy-saving tips, visit www.PowerMoves.com.