During the summer, many of us are excited about our family vacations that we’ve been planning all year long. However, some of us will be pondering ideas to create the most amazing staycations we can afford. Whatever the case may be, CAEC is here to help you be more efficient, saving your energy dollars so you can use them for summer activities.
One of the major proponents of high energy consumption can be your heat pump. Statistics show that heat pumps account for a little over half (54 percent) of the average home’s utility costs. With that in mind, it’s a great time to look at some “no and low” cost tips to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.
First, help keep your unit running at peak performance—the better it can do its job, the less energy it will use. Simply changing or cleaning your air filters at least once a month and ensuring the outside unit is clear of debris, such as leaves and lawn clippings, can help. You can go a step further by having your unit serviced by a trained HVAC technician. A pre-summer tune up can not only increase efficiency, but also help identify potential issues before they turn into a major, and costly, problem when the summer heat is on.
Second, check out your unit’s thermostat. Make sure the fan switch is on “auto” to save energy. Leaving it in the “on” position keeps air running constantly and using energy. As temperatures rise, try setting your thermostat at 78 degrees, which will feel great compared to the 90 degree plus outside temperatures as well as help save on cooling costs. You can have even more control by installing a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to adjust the indoor temperature during the day.
Once you have your unit running efficiently, keep that climate controlled air inside your home by checking for household leaks and make sure air isn’t escaping through any openings such as fireplace dampers, doors and windows. If you can see light around your doors and windows, it might be a good time to invest in weather stripping to better insulate your home’s interior climate.
Cooling costs are determined by comfort, and installing ceiling fans, which use no more electricity than a standard light bulb, can help you feel cooler and use less HVAC dollars. Make sure you turn the blades in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer and turn them off when you leave—since fans are meant to cool people and not the actual room temperature.
Another way to reduce heat and increase efficiency in your home is to replace burnt out incandescent bulbs with new energy efficient CFL’s or LED light bulbs. Not only do CFL and LED bulbs use 75-80 percent less energy than incandescent and last about 10-25 times longer, they produce less heat than incandescent bulbs, which use 90 percent of their energy producing heat.
When the whole family gets involved in the process, this will not only result in savings, it will also produce better energy habits. It is our desire to help you achieve the best value for the energy dollars you spend, allowing you to beat the heat and invest your savings in summertime family memories.