Tips on Saving Energy this Summer
With higher home energy costs this year, it is especially important for residents to keep their homes cool and comfortable while managing their utility bills. Focus on Energy has developed some tips to make your home more efficient this summer.
KEEP YOUR COOL
Central Air Conditioners
To keep your central air conditioner at peak efficiency, it is important to keep it maintained. That means scheduling yearly maintenance and regularly checking the refrigerant charge as well as indoor and outdoor air coils.
Setting back your thermostat or using a programmable thermostat allows homeowners to use less energy without sacrificing comfort when away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of a thermostat’s set back mode, you can save up to $100 every year in energy costs. Remember to keep the thermostat set at energy-saving temperatures for long periods of time, such as during the day when no one is home and through the night when you are sleeping. Resist the urge to override the pre-programmed settings. Every time you do, you use more energy and may end up paying more on your energy bill.
Used in combination with your air conditioner, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise your thermostat setting without reducing your comfort. The airflow produced by the ceiling fan creates a wind-chill effect, making you “feel” cooler. Be sure to turn the fan off when you’re not in the room to save energy – ceiling fans cool people, not rooms.
Shades and drapes.
Close draperies or shades on south- and west-facing windows to reduce solar heat gain. Install sun screens on the outside of windows to reflect solar gain while allowing a view. Sun screens can be removed in the winter to let solar heat in.
Landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home cool in summer. Carefully-positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of a typical household’s energy used for cooling. In addition to adding aesthetic value and environmental quality to your home, a well-placed tree, shrub or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak and reduce overall energy bills.
Schedule a Home Performance Evaluation.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR evaluation helps homeowners find hidden problems in their homes. The evaluation includes a comprehensive inspection of all systems in the home. Once the evaluation is complete, homeowners receive a report that identifies problems and recommends solutions.