The sweltering heat of summer is fast approaching, as are high energy bills. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average resident will pay around $425 in energy costs this summer. Summer is a notorious time for wasting more energy than usual. Our tips and tricks will help keep your house cool and your budget on track.
1. Keep the cool air inside
There are many things you can do in and around your home to keep your comfy, cooled air indoors. One of the simplest principles of thermodynamics is that hot air seeks cold air and equilibrium. If you leave your windows open the hot air from outside will flood into your cool home until it is just as hot as the outside temperature. This exchange of air is why it’s important to keep all outside access points closed and locked around your home. Quality insulation is another big factor affecting how well your home can hold onto that cool air. It’s by far the best investment your home can have for energy savings.
2. Maintenance Checks
It’s not too late to check over your entire system for any issues that could be looming before more hot days come. Doing something as simple as making sure your air filters are clean can really make an impact on your energy savings. Another part of your own checks should be the area around your outside HVAC unit. Make sure bushes and grass are not growing around it and hose it off occasionally. You should also schedule a professional to ensure your entire system is running efficiently. Your indoor or outdoor coils may need to be cleaned for example. Dirty coils can not only affect your energy use but also damage your furnace. Sometimes you may just need to get a new system. Generally speaking, if your system is over 10-15 years old, it’s probably more efficient to replace it than to repair it.
3. Keep the Sun Out
Keeping the hot sun out of or off of your house makes a big difference in your energy bills. Most people might not consider this, but planting trees around your home will keep it shaded and cool. We’ve seen big jumps in energy costs after a tree has been removed from someone’s property. They thought their system was faulty, but really it was the lack of shade they’d had for years. It never occurred to them that mother nature has been lending them a hand the whole time. Some options to keep the sun out are solar screens or reflective tinting on your windows. Solar screens are a cheap way to keep up to 70% of the sun’s rays out of your home. Reflective window tinting helps keep your home cool, without sacrificing your view or natural lighting.
4. Variable Temperatures Inside Your Home
Changing temperatures within your home can lead to higher electric bills. Some of the most common reasons the changes are coming from inside your home are automatic cooling systems and large electronics/appliances. Automatic cooling systems don’t keep all the air in your home at a consistent temperature. Because it doesn’t turn on until it senses the hotter air, you end up with cold and hot areas throughout the house. This constant turning on and shutting off, based on the temperature near the thermostat uses a lot of energy. Powering up and quickly trying to cool down the air expends more power than having a system that continually runs (at a lower output). With this type of system, the air is always moving, so it never has a chance to get too warm. Your large electronics like big-screen TVs, computers, and household appliances create heat also. Monitoring their usage decreases the variable air temperatures in your home. It is better to use them at night when it’s cooler outside.
5. Get Used to the Heat
The most efficient way to avoid high energy costs is to just get used to the heat. It’s not something most people want to hear, but keeping your thermostat in check is the easiest way to save this summer. Studies have found that every degree above 75 can make a difference of 10-15% in energy use! Literally, every degree means more money stays in your pocket.
If your energy bill is high and you’ve tried what you can to reduce it, we’d be happy to come out and see if your system needs maintenance, repair or replacement. Visit our website today to get a technician out to your house!