Beat the heat without breaking the bank with these helpful energy saving tips.
Now that the long, hot days of a South Carolina summer are in full swing, homeowners are depending on their air conditioning to keep their homes comfortably cool. With increased energy use comes higher energy bills, so how do you strike the balance between comfort and cost during the summer? Use the ten tips below to help reduce your energy consumption and costs while also keeping your home cool for you and your family.
Keep your shades drawn.
Close your blinds in windows that receive direct sunlight and in rooms you are not using to help keep your house cool.
Raise your thermostat when you aren't home.
Increase the temperature on your thermostat when leaving for work or going out of town so that you don’t continue to cool your home to comfort while you’re away, wasting energy and money.
Avoid using heat producing appliances and devices.
Refrain from using appliances and equipment that generate heat on particularly warm days, such as your oven to avoid introducing additional heat into the home. Use alternatives, such as a stove top or microwave to avoid producing more heat.
Cool off with fans.
While fans can’t actually add cool air to a room, they can redistribute the hot and cool air that is present to give you relief. Fans will allow you to increase your thermostat 4° and remain comfortable. Always be sure to turn fans off when you leave the room to save energy.
Consider a programmable thermostat.
Install a programmable thermostat to set parameters for increased comfort and improved energy efficiency by adjusting temperatures while you sleep, or turning on just before you arrive home so that your home is cool without the air being on all day.
Keep registers clear and dust free.
Regularly vacuum dust and debris from your home’s registers, and ensure they are not blocked by furniture so they can effectively circulate cool air.
Service HVAC unit annually.
Ensure that your unit is running at peak efficiency by having it serviced each year. HVAC technicians can make sure that your heat pump is working properly, as well as check for other issues, such as leaks in your ductwork. Also be sure to change your air filters each month so that your unit can circulate air effectively and cool your home as efficiently as possible.
Use energy efficient bulbs.
It is estimated that only 10-15% of energy used by incandescent light bulbs is used to generate light, while the rest produces heat. Use energy efficient bulbs that require less power, and turn lights off when not in use.
Reduce the temperature on your water heater.
About 18% of your home’s energy consumption is for heating water. To reduce your energy use and bill, try adjusting your water heater to the warm setting at 120℉.
Replace unit with higher seer rated unit.
HVAC units with higher SEER ratings are more energy efficient when compared with systems with lower ratings. If it’s time to replace your unit, pay a little more for a system with a higher SEER rating, and the unit will pay for itself in energy savings over time.
Are you looking to upgrade your home’s HVAC system for greater efficiency and cost savings? Talk to a First Reliance representative today to discuss your options for covering the costs of upgrades to your home. For more great tips for managing your home and finances, follow the Better Side of Life Blog provided by First Reliance Bank.