It’s summertime, and unfortunately, rising temperatures can also mean rising utility bills. While it’s important to ensure your home stays cool and comfortable during the hottest days at the utility, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for energy savings. Here are four helpful ways of reducing your cooling bill while still enjoying a conditioned home:
1. Installing a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats are excellent, simple devices that can help you automatically control your home’s temperature based on your family’s unique scheduling. Instead of manually adjusting your thermostat each time you leave the home for work or head to bed, you can program an automatic schedule and leave your air conditioner’s adjustment to the thermostat itself. Adjusting your thermostat to conserve energy while you’re not home can save you as much as $200 every year. And this technology has just become more high-tech with the release of the smart Nest thermostat. This smart device allows you to connect and control your thermostat through a Wi-Fi network so that you can access your temperature programming on any computer or mobile device. The proper use of Nest can save you as much as 20 percent off of your annual energy bill.
2. Maintaining your HVAC system.
Like any home appliance and equipment, your air conditioner system should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure proper, energy-efficient operation. Your air filters should be changed every month during heavy-use seasons, such as in the peak of summer, and every three months otherwise. This is because the more your air conditioner works to circulate the air throughout your home, the more dust, dirt, and other debris gets caught in the filter. A dirty and clogged air filter will reduce airflow and cause your unit to work harder and consume more energy to pull through the needed amount of air to condition your home. It’s also important to ensure your air ducts are properly sealed to prevent holes and joint gaps from leaking conditioned air into your non-living spaces, such as your attic and crawl spaces. To determine whether your home leaks air, contact your local contractor for a complete home energy assessment.
3. Rethink ventilation
Ventilation is perhaps the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way of cooling your home. During the more temperate days, utilize natural ventilation for a ‘chimney effect’. For instance, open windows on each side of your home to create a comfortable cross-wise breeze. You can also take advantage of the wind chill effect given by room fans. While fans don’t actually lower the temperature of a room and thus should be turned off when a room isn’t occupied, they can simulate the feel of a cooler space and allow you to adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher.
4. Installing a whole-house dehumidifier
Many residents along the coast experience heavy humidity. An excessively humid home can make your house feel hotter than it actually is. While your air conditioner helps remove some of the excess moisture in the air, it can’t do it all. A whole-house dehumidifier works in tandem with your central HVAC system to balance your home’s humidity level to keep you feeling cool without overexerting your air conditioning equipment, and thus saving you energy.
For more helpful tips and ways to reduce your home’s energy bills, or to schedule a home energy assessment to determine the most cost-effective energy solutions for your home, contact us at Energy Monster today. Our goal is to help residents and business owners determine their building’s specific energy potential and create an effective action plan that meets their budget and will enhance their energy savings.