As the temperature outside starts rising, inevitably, so will your energy bills. Running the air conditioner constantly can quickly add up, leaving you with a hefty bill at the end of the month. But don’t fret – there are plenty of ways to keep those energy bills in check and stay cool at the same time. Keep reading to learn some useful tips and tricks to lower your energy bills this summer.
Give Your AC a Checkup
Maximizing the efficiency of your cooling system is one of the most important factors when it comes to reducing your energy costs. If your AC unit is clogged or dirty, it can end up costing you more money on your bills, plus it can reduce the life span of your air conditioner, resulting in the need for replacement much sooner. If you schedule regular AC maintenance each season, your air conditioning system should be running smoothly at all times.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Some experts believe that each degree that your thermostat is set above 75F can save 10 to 15% in energy usage. This can be a tricky issue on particularly hot days when you spend time indoors because the point of having AC in the first place is to feel cool and comfortable. But that doesn’t mean you have to crank it up to a maximum level where you’re actually adding layers of clothing when you’re inside. Adjust your thermostat to a temperature where it’s just cool enough to keep you comfortable, and then try and add a degree or two from there.
Spend Time Outdoors
Spending more time outside seems like a strange way to keep cool on hot days, but when you’re not home you’re also not using the same amount of energy you would be if you were home. You can turn off all the lights, unplug appliances, and turn down your air conditioning to help save on your energy bills. It’s also a good idea to get outside for fresh air and sunshine in the summer, so it’s a win-win situation.
Use Fans Instead of AC
Getting inside to comforting air conditioning may be ideal on a hot summer day, but it’s not the only way to keep cool. Strategic use of fans in your living space can also keep you comfortable, and they use substantially less energy than an air conditioner. If you have a ceiling fan, running it counterclockwise in the summer will help with the cooling effect. You can also use fans in conjunction with your air conditioning, allowing you to raise your thermostat to use less energy but still remain comfortable.
Create Shade with Plants
As simple as it sounds, you can help to lower your energy bills this summer by adding some plants to your property. If you plant some shrubs or small trees on the south and west sides of your house or even just over your outdoor AC unit, you can make your cooling system more efficient. The shade that’s created by plants will lower the temperature and help you save on your monthly bills. Do be diligent about keeping your outside unit clear of fallen leaves, branches, and ground foliage so it can operate properly.
Lower Water Heating Costs
Heating the water in your house accounts for almost 20% of the total energy consumed in your home. Most homeowners don’t even think of lowering the temperature that’s set on their water heater, but it can help save energy and help save you money. Most of the time, you won’t even notice a few degrees difference in the shower, and you can also wash your clothes in cold water and hang them out to dry when the weather is warm.
Go Off-Peak for Your Electricity Use
It’s common knowledge that energy companies charge more during peak hours when demand is the highest. If you are a little strategic about it and schedule most of your energy use to off-peak hours, you’ll be able to lower your monthly energy bills. Off-peak generally refers to the early morning or later at night.
Shut Doors & Close Vents
One simple trick that only takes a couple of minutes is to close doors and vents in your house when your air conditioner is in use. There’s no point in cooling rooms that no one is in, and you can help direct the cool air throughout your house more efficiently by strategically closing doors and vents in certain rooms.
Keeping your energy bills in check can be a challenge for homeowners in Columbia and throughout mid-Missouri. But, when you follow these useful tips, you’ll be able to lower your energy bills and still enjoy summer. If you’d like to schedule AC maintenance to ensure your air conditioner is running smoothly at all times, get in touch with us at MasterTech Plumbing today.