How to save on electricity during the summer cooling season.
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about preparing for those hotter temperatures. We’ve been blessed with a couple of years of mild summers (in the Midwest at least), but this year isn’t looking like it will further the trend.
What does it mean to be prepared for hotter temperatures? Well, it means doing a few things, including: making sure your air conditioner is in tip-top shape with preventative maintenance, changing furnace filters and reading up on the best ways to save electricity during the summer.
Here are some general rule-of-thumb electricity savings and ones specifically tailored to those of us with air conditioners and heat pumps.
Invest in an efficient air conditioner. Next time you are looking for a cooling system replacement, go with the most efficient system you can afford. You’ll thank yourself when utility bills arrive.
In fact, invest in energy-efficient appliances. From washers to refrigerators, all of your household appliances run on electricity. Switching to energy-efficient products across the board can really make an impact.
Turn off lights and fans when you’re not home. This goes without saying, but a light here and there can really add up when it comes time to read your meter at the end of the month. Make sure to do a quick walkthrough before you leave the house.
Switch from window and portable units to central air. If you are looking for targeted cooling, then you may want to stick with portable or window options. But, for whole-home comfort, central is the way to go. It can get pricey to try and control each room in the house by a portable or window unit.
Take shorter, cooler showers and use a dishwasher. If you have an electric water heater, you want to be conscious of how much hot water you are using. Did you know that a dishwasher actually saves more water than hand washing?
Invest in a programmable thermostat or zoning system. Customized comfort schedules and room-by-room comfort control can really translate to savings on your electricity bills. Just make sure you are doing it with smart HVAC systems and not fiddling too much with your thermostat.
Turn up the thermostat a few degrees. A degree or two difference on your thermostat can translate to savings on your monthly bills, and you won’t be sacrificing too much comfort. But, make sure when you find your temperature…stick to it! Constantly fiddling with your thermostat can result in more frequent on and off cycles, which can really run up the meter.
Turn things off at the power strip, or unplug. A lot of people don’t know this, but a lot of modern-day electronics actually continue using electricity when they are turned off by still plugged in. Think about all of those chargers that you keep plugged in during the day??
If you’re seriously considering upgrading to a high-efficiency HVAC system, make sure you schedule a consultation with your local heating and cooling contractor. They will be able to guide you through the process and help you choose the most efficient air conditioner for your needs.
What else do you do to save electricity during the summer?