Spring officially started, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to help you “spring into savings”! As we start heading into warmer weather, the urge to drop the temperature on your thermostat may be high, but these tips will help keep you cool and keep your energy use low!
Instead of lowering the thermostat in your home, consider using more natural ventilation to keep it cool. If the temperature outside is mild, between 65° and 75° F, opening a window will keep your home comfortable without the need to run your air conditioner. Use fans to increase the effectiveness of the natural ventilation. A fan blowing directly on you helps cool you down thanks to the wind chill effect.
We know light colored clothing helps keep us cooler by reflecting more sunlight off of us. Similarly, cool roofs are light in their color and reflect more sunlight off of your house, keeping it cooler. Proper landscaping can also block a lot of sunlight from hitting your house from the spring through the fall, and when the leaves are gone from the trees in the winter, you’ll get more sunlight to help warm up your home. Plant moderately sized trees on your south facing side of your home to help with this.
If you do plan on using your A/C a lot, be sure to get it inspected and serviced before things really heat up. If you have easy access to them, clean or replace any filters to maximize the airflow of your air conditioning system, increasing its efficiency. Installing programmable thermostats can help regulate the temperature of your home, even while you’re away. This can drastically increase energy efficiency. Also, when running your A/C, set the temperature a little higher than the temp you normally would have it. You can save 1% to 3% of energy for every degree higher you set your temperature. Also, weather-stripping your home to seal any possible air leaks will help seal in the cold air.
Finally, try to avoid using heat generating appliances and lights on particularly hot days. Instead of baking something in the oven, microwave some leftovers, or instead of watching television or using the computer a lot, read a book. This will keep the heat generation down and prevent your A/C from working overtime.