If you were asked whether or not you’d like to save money on your energy bill, especially during the height of summer when you’re sucking up a ton of electricity to power your AC unit, chances are you wouldn’t hesitate to reply with a resounding “Yes!”. And it just so happens that curbing consumption and cutting your utility bill in the process are not as difficult as you might think. In fact, most homeowners can save both energy and money in the summer by adopting a few simple strategies. So if you’re interested in doing your part to preserve the environment, and saving some money in the process, here are some tactics to try in order to reduce your home energy consumption.
If we’re being honest, the last thing you want to do is shut down your AC completely. While this will certainly slash your consumption and your electric bill, as well, you’ll no doubt agree that some expense is worthwhile so that you can enjoy a comfortable home environment. You’re not going to be a happy camper if you’re suffering through the sweltering heat of summer inside a home that feels like a sweat lodge. And with the possibility of heat stroke an ever-present concern for both senior and junior members of your household (elderly relatives and young children) you certainly don’t want to risk the health of your family just to save a few bucks. Luckily, you can still engineer some savings while enjoying a cool interior.
You’ll want to start with inspections. Hopefully you already schedule annual check-ups for your HVAC system, but if not, now is a great time to start. Professional technicians can inspect your AC unit (as well as your ductwork and your furnace or boiler) in order to make sure that everything is working correctly, and they’ll perform cleaning, maintenance, and repairs as needed, often as part of your regular service (although some repairs may cost extra). Of course, you can (and should) do some upkeep on your own, especially during a long, hot summer when your AC unit is seeing a lot of use. By inspecting and cleaning your system between visits from your HVAC technician you can ensure that your system is operating at maximum efficiency throughout the season.
You might also want to have a home energy audit conducted so that you can pinpoint areas where energy waste is occurring in your home, such as windows, doors, vents, and so on. Once you find these points of egress (where the bought air is getting out) you can plug the leaks, lower your energy bill, and enjoy the ability to more easily regulate your interior temperature. Along those lines, however, you should also consider using a programmable thermostat to lower energy bill. When you set a schedule for air conditioning that revolves around your presence in the house, you can ensure that energy isn’t being wasted in your absence. And since the system will gradually cool the home before you get back, you won’t have to demand increased output like you would if you arrived home to find the indoor environment unbearably hot. Don’t have a programmable thermostat? Now is a great time to upgrade and start seeing savings on your energy bill.