Summer Energy Usage for 2018
A lot of people think that you use more energy during the winter due to heating, more electric lighting, and even cooking on the stove. However, in warmer states, summer energy usage is actually similar, or in most cases more than, winter energy usage. Last summer, the National Weather Service predicted higher-than-average temperatures in North America with 2018 promising much of the same. And when it gets hot and muggy outside, your air conditioning system becomes your refuge but, it can really run up your energy bills.
During the summer, many homeowners keep their air conditioners running at full blast without considering other energy-saving alternatives. The harder the air conditioner works, the higher the utility bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans spend more than $29 billion each year using their air conditioners. So, how can you keep your home comfortable while reducing energy consumption? Well, there are several things you can do to keep your home cool without increasing your summer energy usage. Here are a few summer energy saving tips to remember:
Seal and Insulate!
Insulating your home is one effective way to reduce your cooling costs. This includes things like sealing the gaps and cracks in external walls, floors, and ceiling, so cool air can’t escape and hot air can’t come in. You’ll be amazed how much cooler your house will be by accomplishing this one simple step. Take some time to inspect your home for air leaks and poor attic insulation. The more effort you put into insulating, drought-proofing and shading your home, the less artificial (costly) cooling you’ll need.
Keep your vents clean!
Your air conditioner can’t work efficiently if your vents are blocked by rugs or furniture. Clogged filters will force your air conditioner to work harder and use more energy, resulting in higher utility bills. A clean filter can make an air conditioner 5 to 15% more efficient than a dirty one and it only takes a few minutes to complete! Check all of your vents to make sure they’re open, free of dust, and directing air towards the center of the room.
Get an Air Conditioner Tune-up
Making sure that your air conditioner is running efficiently is another way to help you conserve energy during the summer. Proper HVAC maintenance, which includes having a HVAC technician clean the system and perform preventative maintenance prevent sudden breakdowns. The more efficiently your AC is running, the less you’ll pay.
Plan for window upgrades
If your windows are single-pane or aged and drafty, you might want to make investment for window upgrades. Window replacements are usually costly propositions but provide significant energy savings. In fact, studies show that replacing single pane windows with double pane can save between 21%-31% off heating and cooling costs. With energy saving windows, their increased insulation makes your home comfortable and reduces your home’s summer energy usage.
Optimize your thermostat setting
According to the Department of Energy, setting your smart thermostat at 78 degrees during the summer can save you up to 10% in energy costs each year. By raising your thermostat above 72 degrees, you save up to 3% of your cooling expenses. If 78 degrees is too warm, you can always adjust it a bit lower to be comfortable.
Use a Whole House Fan
If you read our previous blog post, using your ceiling fan correctly can save you a lot of money especially during the summer. Your ceiling fan should run counter clockwise at a higher speed. Since heat rises, the warm air near your ceiling is moved into the main part of your room. This causes the air to blow down, thus cooling the room and keeping you comfortable.
The summer of 2018 may prove to be a hot one but, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s easy to make your summer energy usage more efficient. You can start by implementing a few of these tips or you can go big this summer and challenge yourself to save as much energy as possible. If you would like to learn more useful energy saving tips visit our energy efficiency page or contact us today!