Reduce Your Summer Energy Use
There are many low to no-cost energy-efficient cooling tips to beat the heat this summer. Reduce your summer energy use with these tips.
Program your thermostat to work around your family’s summer schedule—set it a few degrees higher (such as 78 degrees) when no one is home, so your cooling system isn’t cooling an empty house. With proper use, programmable thermostats can save you about $180 a year in heating and cooling costs.
Check your HVAC system’s air filter every month.Change the filter at least every three months. A dirty filter will slow air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
Run your ceiling fan in occupied rooms to create a cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14%. Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so when you leave the room make sure to turn off the fan.
Pull the curtains and shades closed before you leave your home to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior of your home.
Closing air conditioning vents in unoccupied rooms may save up to 10% on your cooling costs.
Remember to have your HVAC system serviced annually to ensure it’s running at optimum efficiency for money and energy savings.
Seal your air ducts. As much as 20% of the air moving through your home’s duct system does not reach its destination due to leaks and poor connections. Seal duct work using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulate all the ducts that you can access (such as those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages).
Consider installing a whole house fan. Attics trap large amounts of heat; a well-placed and sized whole-house fan pulls air through open windows on the bottom floors and exhausts it through the roof, lowering the inside temperature and reducing energy use by as much as a third compared with an air conditioner. Cost is between $150 and $400 if you install it yourself.
Caulking and weather-stripping will keep cool air in during the summer.
When buying a room air conditioner, look for one that has earned the Energy Star® label.
Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in and make sure your attic is properly ventilated. Reducing the attic temperature may help lower your cooling costs.
If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with a model that has earned the Energy Star® label could cut your cooling costs by 30%.