During the summer, it can seem that your energy bill rises with the temperature. However, with a few easy actions, it is possible to keep your home cool and your energy bill low. Here’s a look at some of the suggestions made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to “help the public cut cooling costs, protect their health, and stay comfortable at home.”
1. Check your light bulbs. Not only do more energy efficient light bulbs automatically use less energy (therefore reducing your bill), they also emit about 75% less heat into the room, reducing your cooling needs.
2. Install a programmable thermostat and set it around your family’s schedule. Keep the temperatures comfortable while people are home, but allow the temperature to rise a few degrees while the family is out of the house – such as at work, at school, or on vacation. This will save you the money of cooling an empty house.
3. Use ceiling fans. Ceiling fans create a nice breeze in our home, allowing you to set your thermostat at a slightly higher temperature with no adverse effects on how warm your home actually feels. Studies have shown that if you raise your thermostat by only 2 degrees and run your ceiling fan, you can save up to 14% on your energy bill. Just make sure you turn the fans off whenever you leave the room.
4. Check your duct system. You can lose up to 20% of your cool air through leaks, cracks, and poor connections in your duct system. Make sure that everything is well sealed so that all the air is being put into cooling your house instead of outside.
5. Use blinds and shades. Having your shades and blinds closed or down during the day can prevent the sun from overheating a room.
6. Have your air conditioning system checked by a professional to see if it is time for an upgrade. An upgraded air conditioning system runs more efficiently and can ultimately keep you more comfortable and save you money on your energy bill.