Are you doing everything possible to keep costs down on your summer utility bills?
There’s almost always room for improvement, so consider these energy-saving tips for summer to increase efficiency and save money in the coming months.
Shade Your Windows
Block solar heat gain by covering the windows with blinds, drapes, shades and shutters during the day. Awnings, roof overhangs and strategically planted trees can also shade your windows from the outside. Consider installing window films on your south- and west-facing windows as well. These still allow light to enter while reflecting UV rays that cause heat gain.
Insulate Your Home
Visually inspect different areas of your home to find leaks. Common culprits include windows and doors, attic floor penetrations, plumbing penetrations, baseboards, electrical outlets, and exhaust fans. Use caulk to seal small stationary cracks, expanding spray foam to fill larger openings and weatherstripping to help moveable window and door joints close tightly.
Use Your Programmable Thermostat Wisely
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, install one. Then, set it for energy savings. While at home, program the thermostat to 78 degrees. Then, create automatic setback periods that raise the temperature to 85 degrees while you’re away all day or sleeping at night. Timed recovery periods ensure you come home or wake up in a comfortable home.
Run the Ceiling Fan
Airflow is a powerful way to stay cool. Ceiling fans use 97 percent less energy than the air conditioner, yet the resulting wind chill makes you feel about 4 degrees cooler. This way, you pay to keep the thermostat at 78 degrees, but it feels as though it’s 74 degrees. Just remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room since airflow cools people, but it doesn’t actually decrease the temperature in the room.
Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Schedule AC maintenance once a year with a licensed HVAC contractor. Between visits, change the air filter, trim back foliage near the outdoor condensing unit, and hose down the outdoor unit to remove dust and other debris that collect on the fins.
Reduce Indoor Heat Gain
To help decrease the strain on your air conditioner, wait until evening to complete heat-generating chores such as running the dishwasher, doing laundry and cooking on the stove. Run the bathroom exhaust fan when showering, and aim to keep your showers as short as possible. Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer to browse the web while consuming less energy and producing less heat.
Light Your Home Efficiently
Take advantage of longer daylight hours in the summer, and light your home naturally. When you need artificial light, choose efficient CFLs or LEDs that use less electricity and generate minimal heat compared to incandescent bulbs. Then, remember to turn off the lights when you don’t need them.
The HVAC services from Wolfers Heating can help keep your energy bills low this summer. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 503-220-1901.