Why are electric bills so high in the summer? Several factors can cause an unusually high energy bill. Follow these three simple steps to lower your electricity bills this summer and become a savvy saver.
• Adjust the thermostat. Keep your house slightly warmer while you are not at home. A small change, such as turning your thermostat up 2-3 degrees Celsius, may make a difference in your utility bill. If you are away for an extended period of time, for example on vacation, turn off the A/C entirely. Programmable thermostats alter the temperature in advance allowing for a cooler home upon arrival.
• Fully functioning filters. Clean or change your air conditioner’s air filter regularly to maintain proper airflow. Clogged filters reduce air quality and can also impair your equipment’s efficiency. This easy maintenance step keeps your HVAC system from working harder than necessary and can help control energy costs.
• Get an AC tune-up. Call a professional to inspect your cooling system and make sure it functions productively. Annual maintenance keeps your system running at peak efficiency and can help prevent potential breakdowns.
• Learn from laundry lessons. Wash and dry full loads, and be sure to wash clothing in cold water. Hang your laundry to dry instead of tumbling in the dryer.
• Unplug unused electronics. Use surge protectors to easily switch electronics off and prevent them from using standby power.
• Inspect your refrigerator. If your fridge is too cold, it could be costing you money. Research manufacturer settings to find the recommended temperature for your brand and model. Also, check to make sure the door seal is not letting out cold air.
• Keep your refrigerator full. Solids and liquids are easier to cool than air. However, avoid overfilling it, and allow for proper air circulation.
• Use your oven sparingly. Instead of using the oven, try recipes made in a slow cooker, microwave, toaster oven or electric pressure cooker. Prepare dishes that require no appliances at all. Chilled meals, like pasta salads, will help to keep you cool.
• Double-down on drapes. Close drapes on west and south-facing windows to prevent extra heat from getting into your home. Dark, thick drapes provide more insulation and defense against the sun’s heat. As a result, these spaces tend to be cooler.
• Light your home with LED. LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. (Source) Plus, they emit less heat which means less work for your AC.
• Ceiling Fan Sense. Create airflow in your home by turning on ceiling fans. Remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
Note: These tips are suggested as general practices. However, actual results may vary.