Reduce Cooling Costs and Save for More Summer Activities
We all wait until the last minute to turn on our air conditioner. Why? To save money. And who’s to blame you? Air conditioning can be a massive part of your electric bill. But on days of over 90° weather, how do you reduce cooling costs?
There are many advantages to converting to a learning or “smart” thermostat; primarily its ability to run your A/C with the utmost efficiency. Smart thermostats can detect when your house is occupied and will adjust your home’s A/C system according to your set preferences. For example, when your smart thermostat detects that your house is empty, it will raise your home’s temperature — giving your A/C system a break and resulting in a reduction of energy use and overall cost.
Smart thermostats also give you the ability to adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere in the world. So if you’ll be arriving home early, you can use your mobile device to reset the temperature – and your home will be ready for you.
Fans don’t actually reduce the temperature, but they make the air seem cooler by using the wind chill effect, creating a more even temperature throughout the house. The U.S. Department of Energy has done studies on the best way to set up your fan and open windows:
Two-Story Home: Operate fans on your home’s upper level and open the windows on the lower level.
One-Story Home: Close windows near the fan and open windows in rooms far from the fan.
Also, don’t forget that ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction in which the blades turn. In the summer, ceiling fan blades should rotate in a counterclockwise direction to create cool downward airflow. In the winter, fan blades should rotate in a clockwise direction to redistribute warm air, which naturally rises to the top of the ceiling.
We know that investing in a new system isn’t the cheapest option, but because of how efficient ductless systems are, we can’t go without bringing them up! A ductless system is great for bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. If you have a room where the temperature fluctuates a lot, this is a great solution.
But how does it save money? You can set the room you’re in to the desirable temperature on the ductless unit, then raise the thermostat for the rest of your house. For instance, if you have the ductless system in your bedroom, you can raise or even turn off your A/C then let the more efficient ductless system keep you comfortable during the night.
Tune-Ups can greatly increase the efficiency of your system by allowing the system to produce cooler air without using as much energy. If you have ever gotten your car tuned-up, you know how much of a difference that can make. Now imagine doing the same for your A/C!
Shade is the oldest form of cooling off. There’s multiple ways to use shade to your advantage:
Trees: Planting a tree on the south and west sides of your house can provide cooling relief for years! These trees will create shade during the hottest times of the year. And if you get a deciduous tree, you get the benefit of additional sun during the winter time. Contact your local landscape nursery to see which tree would be best for you.
Shrubs: Just by giving shade to your heat pump or condenser can increase efficiency by up to 10%! Try to find shrubs that can provide shade for the system, but avoid blocking off the airflow.
Blinds & Solar Screens: Windows can let in a massive amount of heat, especially if they’re old windows. Try using blinds or solar screens to cut the amount of light being let in. Just by using light colored blinds, you can reduce heat gain by around 45%! Solar screens sit on the outside of the window and can block 90% of the sun before it even gets inside.
The next time you replace a light bulb, try using LED lights, which have a longer life span and give off very little heat. Incandescent light bulbs, on the other hand, produce more heat and consume more power. An incandescent bulb can be as hot as 335° whereas an LED bulb reaches only 87°!
Just in case you needed more excuses to get outside and grill! Using the stove top or oven in your home will heat your home pretty quickly. If cook outside, however, you’ll end up using a lot less energy. Plus, your food will probably taste better!
Please reach out to us if you want more information on this topic!