10 Tips to Save Energy and Money This Summer
Hot, sticky summer days and nights are on the way – and with them come summer cooling bills. Here are 10 ways to keep those bills under control this summer:
- Use a programmable thermostat – Run your AC a little warmer at night and when no one is home – it will make a noticeable difference in your bills.
- Close vents in unused areas – Selectively shut vents in unused areas of your house – especially on lower floors where cool air sinks anyway (your basement is a perfect candidate). Better yet, install a zone control, which will do this for you automatically.
- Maintain your air conditioner – Resist the temptation to skip annual maintenance! Keep your AC running at its best and avoid costly, unexpected repairs with a Carroll Service Plan.
- Check for duct leaks – Leaky ducts can rob you of significant efficiency – in fact, you can lose one third or more of the cool air your AC produces before it ever reaches the vents! Professional duct sealing could be a great investment for you – especially if your system is an older one.
- Keep vents clear – Rearrange furniture so it doesn’t block vents – why pay to keep the back of your sofa cool?
- Keep it moderately cool – What makes you feel cool is the difference between the temperature outside and the temperature inside – not the absolute temperature of your indoor air. That means you can run your air conditioner a little warmer on hot days and feel just as comfortable (a 78-degree setting is a good starting point).
- Use window reflectors – The greenhouse effect can make your AC have to overwork to keep your room cool. Light-reflecting window treatments minimize the sun’s handiwork.
- Use ceiling fans – Circulating air feels cooler (think of a summer breeze), so you can run your AC a little warmer with no change in comfort. That can save you hundreds of dollars in a cooling season.
- Keep the air properly humidified – Properly humidified air feels cooler – try a whole house dehumidifier to keep humidity at a comfortable 40-50 percent (a far cry from the 80 percent or more that Maryland can reach in the summer).
- Upgrade to a high efficiency AC unit – If your air conditioner is 10 years old or more, then up to 40 percent of the money you pay to run it every month is wasted!
You can get most of that 40 percent back by installing one of today’s high efficiency air conditioners, which can achieve efficiency ratings well into the 90 percent range. That means that a new unit will pay for itself in just a few years and provide greater comfort and reliability from the moment you install it.