With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, spring is a good time to take steps to make your home more energy efficient for the upcoming summer months.
- Change filters regularly. The harder your HVAC unit has to work, the more energy it eats away. Filters should be change out monthly, especially during the summer months when the HVAC unit has a heavy workload.
- Keep your air conditioner outside unit clear. Air must be able to circulate freely around your air conditioners outside unit. Keep the area around it clear of weeds and debris.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
- Keep the sunlight out! Close your blinds, shades, drapes and curtains during the warmest parts of the day, particularly on the sunny side of your home.
- Always run your HVAC system fan on "AUTO". Running it on "ON" uses more electricity and can decrease your air conditioner's ability to remove moisture.
- Ensure window A/C units are weather-stripped.
- Plant shade trees and shrubbery. Planting trees, hedges and other shrubs on the sunny sides of your home can provide natural shading and cooling. This reduces the solar heat gain during the summer months. Reminder, keep a 20 foot distance from powerlines.
- Add or upgrade insulation. Insulation isn't only for the winter time, it's also useful during the summer. Proper insulation will help keep your house cool by preventing hot air from creeping in.
- Look at installing ceiling fans. They help move the air over the body to provide a cooling effect making the room's temeprature seem almost 10 degrees cooler.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller difference between the indoor and outdoor temps, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Install a programmable thermostat, it wil let you set temperatures for specific times of the day. You can save as much as 10% a yr on your cooling and heating costs.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater. Set water heater temperature no higher than 120 degrees F.
- Drain 1-2 gallons from the bottom of your water heater each year to reduce sediment build up.
- Install low flow showerheads. You'll be surprised how much this simple device can cut your water heating costs.
- Don't let water run while you are brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Use cold water to wash clothes to help save on water heating costs.
- Replace your most used incandescent lamps with CFL's. LED lamps also offer savings and a longer life.
- Install motion sensing lights in areas of your house that are less trafficked such as the garage, basement or front porch.
- Don't forget to turn lights off when you leave a room!
More ways to save
- When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home.
- On hot days, avoid using the oven, instead, use a microwave or grill outside.
- Be sure to run appliances like dishwashers and clothes dryers late in the evening. When used during daytime hours, these types of appliances produce additional heat, causing your cooling system to work harder.