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February 23, 2016
Summer electricity bills commonly skyrocket as your air conditioning system works hard to keep your home cool. This is especially true during heat waves, when your cooling system works overtime for days on end. Follow these tips to keep your summer energy bills down and your home comfortable:
1. Keep the Blazing Summer Sun Out
Home curtains and blinds can be very effective in blocking out heat from direct sunlight in the summer. Some draperies can actually reduce heat gain from your windows by up to 33% (according to Energy Saver). Close blinds on hot summer days to reduce your cooling bill by between 10 and 15%.
2. Avoid Heat-Producing Activities in Your Home
Identify which of your activities create heat and try to avoid them. When possible, avoid using the stove, or use it minimally. Use the oven as little as possible, and try to bake a few items at once so you can run it less often. The microwave is a good alternative, as it uses 80% less energy for heating small amounts of food, according to the EPA.
Launder your clothes in cold water and line dry them when possible to avoid running your dryer. Also, consider lowering the temperature setting for the hot water heater during the summer months.
Use LED or fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs to save both electricity and waste heat. Fill up your dishwasher and use it only when it is full, ideally in the nighttime as it generates a lot of heat.
3. Air Conditioner Maintenance
Replacing a clogged furnace filter can cut the energy use of your air conditioner system by 5% to 15%. In fact, general air conditioning maintenance, including a clear evaporator coil and condenser coil, can keep your energy bills lower throughout the summer by allowing the system to work less, by promoting proper airflow.
We also recommend ensuring that your ductwork is properly sealed, so conditioned air is efficiently distributed throughout your home. Woodbine Community Organization offers this service at a very competitive rate.
4. Use Your Cooling System Wisely
By distributing air, fans make a room feel cooler than it actually is. Fans use significantly less energy than an air conditioning system, so they can help you cut your summer cooling bills. Try running a fan with your air conditioner on a lower setting to save energy, or better yet, just use a fan if possible. Turn fans off when nobody is in the room to save energy.