When summer comes, many homeowners complain about the higher energy bills. This is often because the AC runs all the time but other reasons do exist. Fortunately, no matter the cause of the high energy bill, there are different things that can be done.
Below you can read some pretty simple tips that will make your home as energy efficient as possible. Take advantage of them and keep your home cool at the same time.
The HVAC system needs to be kept in a proper shape if you want the home to be as energy efficient as possible. The easiest thing you can do is to respect the maintenance schedule, a year-round effort. This practically includes 2 important things:
- Work with an HVAC professional so seasonal check-ups are performed.
- Regularly change the AC’s air filter.
When an inspection happens, the HVAC professional checks voltage, fins, connections, refrigerant levels, coils and so much more. Moving parts are lubricated, blowers are calibrated and dirty components are cleaned.
You should also do some small tasks yourself, like cleaning the air filter so that dirt and dust do not end up trapped in HVAC unit components. As this happens, unnecessary wear and tear appears.
After inspection is over and you are sure air filters are proper, the HVAC system can be further optimized by properly setting the thermostat to a temperature that is good for the season. You are obviously tempted to adjust based on weather but it is better to set everything at a temperature that is manageable.
Seal Up The Home
Most homeowners are already used to hearing this advice often and it is normal since air leaks and cracks will have an impact on the temperature inside a home. You want to seal up all the air leaks and cracks to keep the air inside. When cool air escapes during summer months, it is harder to keep the temperature you want. The HVAC system needs to work a lot harder. If cool air stays inside, you save on energy costs.
If you cannot detect where air leaks from your home, it is best to contact a professional. If this is not what you want, it is also possible to do most of the work yourself. Just be sure that you do not neglect the attic.
Buy A Good Ceiling Fan
This does seem like a really simple solution but it is one that is quite effective during summer months. You want to buy a really good ceiling fan. It will not directly cool air but it does work in a great way with the AC unit as it helps air circulate fast. If you use ceiling fans, you can set the thermostat around 4 degrees higher, thus saving more money.
Always think about air flow direction. Most of the fans have a counterclockwise and a clockwise setting. During summer, you want blades to run in a counterclockwise direction. This pushes cool air back. Just stay under your fan and turn it on. Then, you can feel the breeze and you see what direction it moves towards.
Check For Heat-Generating Lighting And Appliances
Only around 15% of all the electricity used by incandescent lightbulbs is actually used to create light. The rest transforms into heat. This is why it is so important to use energy efficient lightbulbs. They do run cooler. At the same time, if you just turn off the lights when you do not use them, excess heat is not created.
Similarly to lighting, home electronics are also creating excess heat. This includes appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine (the oven is pretty obvious). The best thing that you can do is invest in energy efficient, certified models. At the same time, you can also avoid using the large appliances when days are hot.