By Lauren Palmer
The heat is at its peak for the summer season, and your air conditioner is running harder than ever, which in return, means your power bill and energy usage are higher than normal. With this in mind, we want to give you some solutions on how to cut your energy usage at home, thus saving you money on your power bill.
Regardless of whether you take simple steps or make larger investments, you’ll see a reduction in your energy bills, and overtime, the savings will pay for the cost of the investments and ultimately, put money back in your wallet. These investments will also go a long way when you eventually go to sell your home.
Today, in the 133 million households in the United States, we use approximately 25 percent of the country’s energy. Although this may not seem like that much, we waste a significant amount of that energy through old appliances, inefficient heating and air conditioning systems, leaky ducts, and leaky windows. ‘So what?’ you may say. Well, that wasted energy turns into money basically being thrown away for you and your family.
Below is a list of tips and tricks to save energy and money in your home:
- Avoid putting a lamp or other heat-producing device near your thermostat. The heat causes the thermostat to think it’s hotter than it actually is in your home, and in return, causes your system to run harder. In fact, using the LED bulbs are the best value by far.
- Install a programmable thermostat and set it to ‘automatic.’ This allows heating and cooling appliances to be automatically turned down by up to four degrees when no one is home or even at night.
- Tune up your heating and air conditioning system at least once per year. Just as a car needs to be maintained, your HVAC system needs to be serviced to improve on its efficiency and prolong the life of the system. In fact, poor drainage from your unit can cost you even more than any extra costs on your utility bill.
- Replace your air filters in your heating and air conditioning system at least once a month. This helps your system to be more energy efficient.
- Install a ceiling fan. It will allow you to raise the thermostat setting by about four degrees, with no reduction in your personal comfort.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs. LED lights and CFL lights can reduce energy usage by 50 to 70 percent, and they last much longer than the incandescent bulbs. This makes a HUGE difference and is a simple fix.
- Running your air conditioner at 76 degrees instead of 72 degrees when it is above 95 degrees outside can save between four percent and 14 percent on your cooling bill. Basically, the closer you set your temperature in your house to the temperature outside your house, the lower your cooling bill will be.
- Have your ductwork inspected. Your household can lose up to 20 percent or more of cooled and heated air through improperly sealed ductwork. Many homeowners underestimate, and even a lot of heating and air conditioning companies underestimate the importance of properly sealed ductwork.
- Make sure that your air conditioner has a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 15.
- Turn off lights when you are not home or not in the room… shocker, we know!
We hope these tips and solutions are helpful. Not only could this save you energy and money for your household, but it could also help the planet in its energy conservation.
Lauren is the communications specialist at Jordan Air, Inc. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Public Relations, and has a huge heart for writing. She loves taking complicated HVAC language and jargon, and translating it into language that the community will understand.