6 Ways To Keep Your Energy Costs Low During The Summer
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Keeping your home cool during the summer is essential for ensuring your family remains comfortable and safe since summer heat is known to cause problems such as heat exhaustion, heat rash, and heatstroke. The heat can worsen other health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, migraines, fibromyalgia, mitochondrial disease, lupus, arthritis, and asthma. You may have difficulty keeping energy costs low during the summer while controlling the climate in your home and engaging in everyday tasks. Inflation has also made it more challenging to keep energy costs in check as energy prices have risen 14.3% in 2022. Below are six tips you can implement to keep your energy costs low during the summer so you can beat the heat.
1. Upgrade Insulation And Windows
A well-insulated home is key to keeping your home cool during the summer. When your home is well-insulated, cool air cannot escape, and your HVAC system will not need to work as hard to maintain desired temperatures. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 45% of a household’s energy bills are spent on heating and cooling a home, and this is due to poor insulation. To make your energy bills more manageable, you must upgrade your insulation.
According to statistics from the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, around 90% of single-family homes lack proper insulation. If your home was built before 1960, you need to be concerned. Insulation standards were different during that time, and better materials are being used for insulation today. Signs that your home may need an insulation upgrade include:
- High energy bills
- Temperature fluctuations throughout the home
- Icicles hanging from your rooftop in the winter
- Drafts in various parts of the home
In addition to upgrading your insulation, you may want also to give attention to your windows, especially if you still have single-pane windows. Poor-quality windows are responsible for approximately 30% of energy use as it relates to heating and cooling. Swap out your current windows for energy-efficient, double-paned windows. You also want to have a professional apply to weatherstrip or caulking to your windows to seal any air leaks.
2. Monitor Your AC Usage
Continuing with air conditioning, it is important to focus on how your AC usage affects your energy bill. While many individuals know that higher HVAC usage equals higher energy costs, a number of American homeowners will still crank up the AC when the heat gets extreme.
While everyone enjoys a cool blast of comfort during the hot weather, setting your AC to significantly low temperatures can cause your energy costs to skyrocket. Moreover, these low temperatures are often unnecessary as most households maintain comfortable temperatures with the thermostat at 78 degrees.
Excessive AC use has a profound impact on your energy bill, increasing costs by 6 to 8% for every degree below 78 that you set your thermostat. To give an example, let’s say that you set your thermostat to 74 degrees. This temperature can increase your bill by 24 – 32%, which is a huge increase in energy costs.
Therefore, we suggest a few strategies to consider when running your AC. First, during the night, you can run your air conditioner on higher temperatures as outdoor temperatures will be cooler. Second, we suggest either turning your AC off or running it at the highest temperature when no one is at home. Last, maintaining a normative temperature of 78 degrees on the thermostat will help you prevent drastic spikes in your energy costs due to AC use.
3. Schedule Preventive Maintenance
The condition of your air conditioner plays a key role in how much energy it consumes. If your HVAC system is running optimally, it will have the ability to cool your home without much effort at all. However, if there are problems, such as leaks, frozen coils, a dirty filter or corroded components, your system will work harder to do its job, thus consuming significant amounts of energy.
During HVAC maintenance, the HVAC technician will check all components to make certain they are functioning as designed. Should any components need to be replaced, the technician will advise you about the replacement and explain associated costs. Once you provide the technician with the consent to move forward with the replacement, they will install the new components during your AC repair service.
In addition to inspecting the system and replacing failing parts, the technician will provide a thorough cleaning that includes removing blockages from the condensate drain, lubricating moving parts and changing the filter. The technician will also remove debris from your outdoor unit.
4. Use Fans As An Alternative
Utilizing fans in tandem with your HVAC unit might seem like counterproductive advice for reducing summer energy costs. However, fans can allow your AC unit not only to work more efficiently, but they can also provide opportunities to reduce the use of your air conditioner altogether. Fans boost air circulation; thus, they will help cool a room quicker to allow your AC to shut off sooner.
In certain situations, you can rely on a fan to replace your air conditioner as the primary source of climate control in your home. On many summer nights, the outside air becomes much cooler, which will enable you to employ solutions that include window fans and ceiling fans. You can even have a whole-house fan installed that is designed to draw cool air in from open windows and circulate it throughout the house.
5. Switch To LED Lightbulbs And Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, HVAC systems and electric stoves, consume daily energy. Since these appliances are used frequently, looking into energy-efficient options can help you consistently reduce your energy bill throughout the year. As a bonus, the use of energy-efficient appliances can be beneficial for the environment as you will be reducing your carbon footprint. To guarantee that your appliances are the most energy-efficient possible, choose those that carry the ENERGY STAR label.
Another point of focus should be your choice of household lightbulbs. If you haven’t already done so, switching to LED lights from incandescent bulbs can be a terrific way to reduce your energy costs. Incandescent bulbs last 1,000 hours and convert most of their energy into heat, causing the temperature in your home to rise and your AC to work harder. On the flipside, LED bulbs last for years and convert a much higher percentage of their energy into light, producing less heat.
6. Unplug Unused Electronics
Keeping unused electronics plugged in is a common habit that leads to wasted energy. Moreover, modern entertainment and work devices, such as gaming systems, televisions and computers, have “Sleep Mode” functions that allow them to power down while remaining on. Even though these functions can reduce the power these electronics consume, these devices still consume higher levels of energy compared to if they are unplugged.
Moreover, all plugged-in electronics produce some form of heat, causing temperature increases in the home. The simple solution is to completely turn off and unplug your unused electronics, preventing idle energy consumption and heat generation.
Working With Specialist For Optimal Energy Efficiency
To help you maximize your efforts to create an energy-efficient home, our experts at Absolute Air are here to help. Servicing Morgantown, Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, Absolute Air helps homeowners find solutions that can help cut energy costs. Additionally, we provide duct cleaning, HVAC repair, inspection, and routine maintenance. Contact us online or by phone for more information!
Published: July 26, 2023