Summer doesn’t have to mean higher electricity bills! You can keep your home cool and still reduce your energy use, saving yourself some money and benefiting the environment. There are several ways you can prepare your home for these high temperatures, and most of them don’t even require any extra investment.
Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree above your normally preferred temp will save up to 3-5% on air conditioning use. Installing a programmable thermostat will help regulate temperatures throughout the day, shutting the system off while you are asleep or away at work, and cooling your home just before you wake up or return home.
Close the vents and doors to rooms that aren’t being used. This will keep the cooled air flowing to rooms that need it most and not wasting it.
Using a ceiling fan in conjunction with AC can allow you to set the thermostat up to 4°F higher than normal, thus saving electricity. Be sure to shut fans off when leaving the room though, as they only help you feel cooler, but don’t actually cool the room they’re in.
Clean or replace the filter in your central air system every one to three months. It’s also a good idea to have your system tuned-up once or twice a year, particularly in the spring or fall before the system is needed most.
Sealing gaps in door or window frames will keep air from seeping out, which causes your AC to work harder to keep your home cool. Installing rubber seals is relatively easy and will save you a bundle on energy year round.
During especially hot days, refrain from using electronics like computers, game systems, and projector or LCD televisions as these produce a lot of heat. Also keep from using the oven or stove, as they add a lot of heat while cooking. Use a microwave, crockpot, or outdoor grill to cook food.
Instead of running your AC at night when it cools down, open windows to let fresh air in. The cool air will keep your house cool without the need to run energy draining air-conditioners, then keep your home sealed up during the day to retain as much of the cool air as possible.