9 Simple Ways to Lower Your Summer Energy Bill
Central Carolina Air - Residential Heating and Air in Greensboro
When temperatures start heating up outside, it usually means higher energy costs. Rather than swear at the air, we went in search of ways to reduce the energy used while keeping your home cool. Below are a few ways that we've discovered can help keep your costs down.
- Change the air filter once each month. When you change it, write the date you replaced the filter on its edge. That will help you remember how long it's been and when to change the filter next time. Even though the filter may not appear dirty, look for your fingerprints in the dust and dirt accumulated on the air intake cover.
- Schedule yearly maintenance by an experienced professional to extend the life of your AC unit. This will be less expensive than waiting until something goes wrong.
- Consider a programmable thermostat that allows the indoor temperatures to rise while everyone is away at work or school, giving the AC a rest. You can program the thermostat to cool the house to your desired temperature about a half-hour before you arrive home.
- Use ceiling fans if you have them as these consume a lot less energy than the AC unit.
- Check for leaks around windows, electrical sockets, and exterior doors when the AC isn't running by holding a stick of lighted incense nearby. If the smoke blows toward the interior of the room, you've got a leak. If these are leaks that you aren't comfortable patching, get a professional to patch them for you.
- Turn off unnecessary incandescent lights, televisions, and computers, and extinguish candles since these generate a lot of heat. You can save energy dollars by replacing incandescent bulbs with (yes, more expensive but longer lasting) CFL bulbs.
- Consider buying and using a toaster oven. These use a lot less energy and generate much less heat than an average oven. Cooking meals outdoors on a gas grill will also decrease the amount of heat generated in the kitchen, heat that increases the temperatures indoors and causes the AC to kick on. Bear in mind that the benefit of cooking outdoors is reduced by the number of times you must open and close an exterior door, running back and forth between the kitchen and the grill.
- When doing laundry, you should use the dryer as little as possible as this appliance also generates a lot of heat. Try to time the dryer to finish just as the washer completes a full cycle. This keeps the dryer hot and takes less time to dry the next load. Combine smaller loads if possible.
- Consider increasing the temperature indoors by two degrees. You'll adapt and it's a great way to save even more money on your summer energy bill.