9 Ways to Keep Cool and Cut Down On Your Energy Bill
As we get ready to brace for the summer heat, many of us are also preparing for the energy bill hike that is sure to follow. Some days it feels like you have to choose between being comfortable or saving money. More often than not, saving money trumps being comfortable, and you’re left sweating it out in your home.But at Killingsworth, we don’t think you should have to choose! Investing a little time and money into your home now can help you save big when those high temperatures hit this summer. We’ve compiled nine tips to help you reduce your energy bill this summer, all while keeping your home cool as a cucumber!
1. Evaluate your HVAC unit
First things first, check on your current air conditioning unit. When’s the last time it was updated? If your unit is under 12 years old, you may be able to sneak past this one. But don’t neglect regular maintenance. If your unit is 12 years or older, it’s most likely time to replace it. Replacing your air conditioning unit can be expensive, but investing in the proper, energy-efficient unit can help save a ton of money in the long run.
2. Install a programmable thermostat
Ah, the beauty of technology! When you install a programmable thermostat in your home, you’re able to manage and monitor the temperature of your home easily—sometimes even from your mobile device!You can program your thermostat to be a certain temperature while you’re at work or on a vacation, and then a different temperature for when you come home. This way, you’re not wasting money on cooling your home while no one is there.Setting your thermostat fan switch to “auto” will also help you save. Keeping your fan running all day will make your energy bill go up, but leaving it on auto will let the fan run intermittently throughout the day. Less work for your HVAC means more money in your pocket.
3. Clean and open your vents
One thing homeowners easily forget to clean is air vents. Clogs or dirt in air ducts can cause your HVAC system to work overtime, which increases your energy bill. Making sure your ducts are properly cleaned out is an important step to reducing your electric bill. While we recommend you consult a specialist to properly clean your air vents, there are a few things you can do on your own to optimize your air flow:
Cover the air registers in your home with a paper towel so the dust doesn’t get into the rooms of your home.
Turn on the fan to keep the dust and dirt moving.
Make sure your furnace filter is in place so loose dust and dirt doesn’t get inside the fan motor.
Knock the dust and dirt loose.
Vacuum-out the supply registers.
Sweep out return air registers.
Replace your furnace filter to cut down dust in your home.
4. Insulate your attic
Everyone knows that heat rises. Think of how hot your attic must be in the spring and summer! If your attic isn’t properly insulated, your HVAC system will start working overtime to keep it cool. Not only does this put extra strain on your HVAC, but also increases your energy bill. Your attic covers the entirety of your home, and the majority of air going into your home is from your attic. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, your HVAC will have a hard time keeping the rest of your home cool. Insulating your attic will help cut energy costs, and keep mold and pests out of your home, too!
5. Turn off and unplug electronics
This is something we should practice all year, not just during the summer. However, when you’re battling an already high energy bill in the summer, little things like turning off a light or unplugging an appliance could help save money!Turn off the lights when you leave a room, and unplug electronics when you’re done using them. Even if the device is off, your outlets will continue using energy. By unplugging unused electronics, appliances and more, you’ll be able to cut major costs on your electric bill.
6. Keep your rooms shaded
While it’s nearly impossible to escape the heat of the sun’s rays, there are a few things you can do to keep your rooms shaded and cool. Try hanging some curtains or blinds to mitigate the sun’s heat. In rooms that aren’t frequently used, keep the curtains pulled so your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard to cool that room. When you’re not home, use the curtains in the main areas of your home to maintain a lower temperature.If your home has no outside protection from the sun, consider planting a bush or tree to offer some much needed shade. Examine the areas of your home where you experience the most sunlight, and see what you can do to keep that space as cool as possible!
7. Check for household leaks
Cracks in window sills or outdated weather strips on the bottom of your doors may be letting cold air out and hot air in. Check your home periodically for any “leaks” to keep your costs down.More times than not, any needed repairs should be easy and quick to fix! If you notice cracks in window sills, repair them with caulk. If a weather strip needs to be updated, remove it and replace it. However, if you find areas with larger cracks or holes, consult a specialist to properly conduct the repairs.
8. Wash your clothes in cold water
You could try taking a cold shower, too, but who really wants to do that? Washing your clothes in cold water can help lower your monthly bill since it requires no additional work from your water heater to heat it up. Also, try doing larger loads of laundry on cold rather than lots of small ones to save additional money on your water and electric bill.
9. Switch to LED bulbs
If you haven’t started using LED bulbs around your home yet, now is the time to start! LED bulbs are much more energy efficient than other light bulbs (90% more efficient in fact), and they are known for lasting much longer. LED bulbs might be more expensive than regular bulbs, but a little bit of splurging now can help you save more money later! There are lots of ways to cut energy bill costs around your home, but it all starts and ends with your HVAC. At Killingsworth, we are no stranger to this, so leave this work to us. Schedule an appointment today!
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