If you’re interested in saving money on your electricity bill this summer, there are a number of methods that you can utilize to reduce your energy usage. Fortunately, there are lots of tips and tricks you can follow to keep your home’s energy usage to a minimum. The cooling system in your home plays a large role in your energy bills, making it the first place to start when trying to improve energy efficiency in the summer.
Install a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat makes it simple to keep your house at the ideal temperature all day and night. By setting the thermostat to follow a basic cooling schedule that complements your family’s schedule, you can save energy and money without compromising indoor comfort.
All smart thermostats are programmable, but not all programmable thermostats include smart technology. There are several reasons to choose a smart thermostat over a programmable one, but as long as you install one or the other, you can save as much as 20% on cooling expenses. Some of the best reasons to install a smart thermostat are:
- Remotely connect to and control your home’s cooling system
- Receive alerts for filter changes and maintenance sessions
- Track your home’s cooling and heating energy usage
- Improve indoor air quality
- Adapt the cooling system to meet your family’s unique temperature preferences
Upgrade the Cooling System
As much as half of the energy that your home uses this summer will likely go toward cooling and ventilation. This means that making improvements to your HVAC system is a smart, long-term investment that may help you save money in the long run.
Did you know that you can save as much as 15% on your energy bill by upgrading your system? This becomes possible when you upgrade to a system with an Energy Star label and a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
Invest in an Insulation Inspection
When conditioned air escapes from your home and air from the outside enters through holes and crevices, you have an air leak. You may not realize it, but this greatly increases the difficulty and cost of cooling your house. One of the main reasons that homes have air leaks is because of poor insulation. You may think your home only needs insulation during the winter to keep you warm, but the truth is, the insulation keeps the heat out during the summer as well.
After inspecting your home’s insulation, if you notice air leaks, you’ll need to seal all of the cracks and openings. Caulking and weatherstripping are the two quickest methods of sealing that provide a return on investment. Weather-stripping seals moving components like doors and operable windows, whereas caulk covers gaps and crevices between the doors and window frames.
Lower the Water Heater Temperature
When the weather outside is hot, you may not feel like taking a hot shower. This is a good time to lower the temperature setting on your water heater. Some water heater thermostats are pre-set by some manufacturers at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but lowering your thermostat to 120 degrees can save money.
Standby heat loss occurs in water heaters when heat is dissipated into the ambient air. The Department of Energy says that you may save between $36 and $61 annually by lowering your thermostat to 120 degrees, which prevents extra standby heat loss.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
AC units require regular maintenance to run at optimal energy efficiency. During maintenance sessions, a technician will clean the coils and fins on the AC unit as well as change the air filter. Other common tasks performed during regular maintenance sessions include:
- Calibrate the thermostat
- Inspect refrigerant lines
- Clean the condenser, blower and drain line
- Wipe down all air registers and vents
- Lubricate moving parts
- Inspect bearings for wear
- Check coils for ice buildup
- Fix all loose electrical connections
Maintain a Clean Air Filter
If you notice the air filter becoming clogged or dirty before your next maintenance session, you should call to have it changed if you aren’t comfortable changing it yourself. A dirty or clogged air filter can result in detrimental consequences when left unchanged. These consequences include:
- Poor indoor air quality
- Excessive energy usage
- A 5% to 10% increase in energy bills
- Unnecessary wear and tear on the AC
- Premature repairs and replacements
Use Blinds and Drapes
Window coverings and treatments are not only for aesthetics. As the summer sun quickly heats up your home, you can avoid unnecessary heat buildup by using the right window coverings.
Blinds and drapes are viable solutions for covering windows. When closed completely over a sunlit window, blinds can decrease solar heat intake. You can also reduce heat input by closing drapes in the summer months if they cover a window that gets direct sunlight.
Minimize Your Use of the AC
You can save a lot of money by turning off the AC when you don’t need it. Living in Los Angeles means experiencing very high temperatures during the daytime. At night, temperatures drop, especially toward the beginning and end of summer. These are ideal times to switch the AC off and sleep with a window or two open. By doing this, you maximize the amount of money you can save on energy bills during the summer.
Turn Up the Thermostat
For every degree that you increase the thermostat’s temperature during the summer, you can save as much as 8% on cooling expenses. During periods of time when you are away from home, experts claim you should set the thermostat between 78 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to get the most savings possible.
Invest in Air Duct Cleaning
In homes with central air, it’s vital to keep the ductwork clean in order to save money on energy bills. Over time, ductwork will become dirty with dust and debris. This debris can build up so excessively that it hinders airflow throughout the home, making it harder for air conditioning to cool your home. As the AC struggles to push cool air through the ductwork, it will use massive amounts of energy, which will skyrocket your cooling bills. This can also lead to more frequent and expensive HVAC repairs.
The best way to keep your ductwork clean is by investing in regular duct cleaning services. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association suggests having your air ducts cleaned every three to five years. A more frequent schedule may be necessary if you have pets in the home or live in a very dusty climate.
Keep Energy Bills Low This Summer With a Maintenance Session
Don’t let high energy bills ruin your summer. Instead, keep those bills to a minimum by investing in regular AC maintenance. Here at Temp Air System Inc., we specialize in AC maintenance as well as other HVAC services, including AC installation, heating repair, heat pumps, air duct cleaning, and indoor air quality improvement. Contact us now to book your next AC maintenance session.