During the peak of summer, you might do whatever it takes to stay cool. Before you run to turn your thermostat down in the peak of summer, keep in mind the monetary cost to keeping your home’s temperature regulated. Saving money and energy go hand in hand, and you can do both by being strategic about how you cool your home. We’re sharing some helpful tips so you’ll know how to save money and energy during the summer.
Instead of immediately turning to your AC for relief, turn on your ceiling fan to help circulate air. Using fans can help you feel up to 8 degrees cooler without the need to lower your thermostat. Make sure it’s spinning counterclockwise so that air is blowing down on you. Don’t waste energy, so be sure to turn it off when you leave the room.
The hottest time of the day is generally between 4 and 6 p.m. During this period, try reducing the amount of sunlight coming into your home by adjusting your curtains and blinds accordingly. In the evening, consider having your windows open while you sleep. Additionally, check the windows themselves for any air leaks. You can re-caulk or add weather stripping to prevent unwanted airflow to and from your home.
Another sensible way to help keep your energy bill down is to keep the thermostat at a higher temperature when you aren’t home. There’s no use for your house to be cool when there’s no one to enjoy it. When you’re inside, make it a goal to keep the thermostat set at 78°F. The closer your home’s temperature is to outside conditions, the more you will save on your energy. Try keeping the temperature as high possible without sacrificing your comfort. You shouldn’t be sweating in your house, but you don’t need to blast the AC, either. By keeping your thermostat 7°-10° back from its normal setting, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling.
If you don’t already own one, consider switching to a programmable thermostat to have more control over your home’s temperature. This can help you save energy and money in the long run because it’s more precise than traditional thermostats; you can even automate its settings to your family’s schedule!
Servicing the air conditioner itself is integral to making your cooling system run optimally. Every few weeks, check on your air conditioner’s filter to see if it needs replacing. When there is an excessive amount of dirt in the filter, it takes more energy to push the air through it. Your HVAC system should also be serviced yearly to ensure it’s working properly. When your AC is running effectively, you’re on your way to saving money.
Regardless of where you live, there is a peak energy period throughout the day. More people are using energy, and rates are higher during those times. Though the ranges vary by location, season, and utility company, off-peak energy times are typically early morning and evening. If you’re able to, limit using heat generating appliances like the oven, washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher during the slower times.
Resisting the urge to turn down your cooling units might seem counterintuitive at first. Rest assured, you might not even notice the difference in the air temperature, but you’ll be able to see the difference on your energy bill. Understanding what household actions use the most energy and how to minimize your usage will help you keep utility costs down.
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