How to Lower Your Energy Bills This Summer
As the summer months quickly approach and the temperatures rise, you’ll want to remain cool throughout the sweltering hot season. While turning up the AC offers relief, learn more about how you can provide relief to your energy bill.
1. Keep Windows and Blinds Open/Closed
In the morning, it’s nice to open the blinds, draw back the curtains and let the sun shine into your home. While it’s a great way to start the day, it’s also an effective way to heat your home. In the hot summer months, though, keep the blinds drawn instead. When the sun isn’t generating more heat inside the home, the HVAC system doesn’t need to work as hard to keep the rooms cool. While many summer nights are muggy and hot, it’s not uncommon for the temperatures to drop. If the temperature drops on a summer night, turn off the thermostat, open the windows and let the cool air in.
2. Monitor Usage of Appliances
Be methodical in your approach to using large appliances like the oven, dishwashers and dryers because of their ability to generate a lot of heat. When you’re looking to keep your energy bills low, the time and frequency of usage are key. During the summer months, create a schedule that doesn’t heavily rely on the daily usage of the larger kitchen appliances. Wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it. Learn more about peak hours and off-peak hours as the off-peak hours are the ideal times to use your appliances without creating a higher spike in your energy bills.
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat
If the house is empty during the day, don’t run the AC in preparation for when you come home. It’s much more cost-effective to install a programmable thermostat. Your programmable thermostat will automatically adjust to the right temperatures you need. If you come home at 6 p.m. every evening, you can set your thermostat to adjust in advance so that you can return to an air-conditioned home. It’s noted that when you randomly adjust the thermostat whenever you feel like it, this impacts the energy bill prices. To keep the bill as low as possible, don’t move the thermostat in random spurts. Focus on remaining consistent by using a programmable thermostat or keeping the temperature between 69 and 71 degrees.
4. Unplug Appliances
While certain appliances need to remain plugged in at all times (refrigerator, deep freezer, etc.), many of your appliances suck up unnecessary energy. A great example is the television. Even if you watch your television every evening before bedtime, it’s okay to unplug it at the end of the night. In fact, keep certain appliances in the same area and plug them all into a surge protector. Just before you head to bed, unplug the surge protector. In a room like your kitchen, unplug the coffee maker or the air fryer after each use. This one habit can save hundreds of dollars in the long run.
5. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Older appliances typically generate more energy. When you’re able to make the transition to more energy-efficient appliances, know that they’re worth the investment because most of these items are in use multiple times throughout the week. This concept even applies to energy-efficient windows that keep air from, depending on the direction, escaping or intruding. Before you purchase items like shower heads and lightbulbs, look for energy-efficient options first. Even if you don’t feel the savings happen with the three months of one summer, those savings and benefits will add up over time.
6. Create a Daylighting Strategy
While the sun generates heat and can make a room impossibly hot, it has its benefits, such as providing vitamin D. Sunlight can boost your overall mood, and it promotes wellness, too. Plus, artificial light does increase your energy bill. Knowing this, consider using a daylighting strategy to allow sunlight in at certain times and in certain areas of the home.
During the summer months, let sunlight into the north-facing windows of the home. This will give you a more even amount of sunlight without enduring intrusive heat. In the early morning hours, the sunlight from the east-facing windows can generate heat. The same sentiment is true for the early evening hours and the west-facing windows of the home.
7. Include Fans in Your Cooling Efforts
Fans are incredibly useful at any time of year. Depending on the type of fan you have, it can help to circulate heat or cool down the home. One of the key factors to remember is that direction matters. Ceiling fans can be adjusted to generate cool air in one direction. When used in tandem with an open window, a standing fan can keep the hot air out and generate cool air in the room. This is an especially effective trick to use at night if you want to keep a room cool. Keep the doors closed to maximize the fan’s efforts.
8. Turn Down the Water Thermostat
Standby loss is the heat the water heater loses by default. By bringing the water temperature down, you’ll decrease the amount of standby loss. This leads to a lower energy bill and money saved. To prevent a terrible accident, avoid water temperatures that go above 120 degrees. However, your water temperatures don’t need to be really high to effectively wash your body. Instead, bring the temperature down a few degrees to preserve energy as you shower and use the restroom. Cooler showers are known to be good for the skin as well since hotter temperatures tend to cause dryness over time.
9. Keep Vents and Air Filters Clean
As the HVAC system disperses air into the home, that air gets circulated through the air filters and the vents. Remain timely in your filter check-ins to make sure they’re cleaned and replaced on a consistent basis. The dirtier the air filter is, the harder the HVAC system works to efficiently get the air out. When the HVAC system works harder, the energy bills increase.
Once you’ve turned the HVAC unit off, remove the air filter to vacuum it once a month. If you’d like to do a deep-cleaning session, use a water hose to rinse the air filters. Allow the filters to dry completely. Then, place them back in their respective units. In addition to cleaning the filters once a month, replace them every three months.
Consulting the Professionals
While it’s important to implement all of these strategies to lower your bills, nothing skyrockets energy bills quite like broken appliances and systems. At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer heating, cooling and indoor air quality services to Macomb residents. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and we are highly rated on Angi. To learn more about how we can assist you when you need HVAC repair or maintenance services, contact C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today.