As Memorial Day arrives, so do the hot days of summer. Yearly tune-ups keep your central AC unit running efficiently, saving you money and keeping you comfortable when the weather heats up.
More than half the energy used in your home goes to heating, cooling and hot water. So making smart decisions about these systems in your home can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort. Here are some tips to keep your house cool, comfortable and cost efficient:
Tips to Save Energy and Keep Cool This Summer:
- Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows permit unwanted heat to enter your home and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder than it otherwise would.
- Check and clean your air conditioner filters. Cleaning and replacing filters monthly allows the system to run more efficiently.
- Clear attic vents. If the home has an attic fan, make sure it is functioning properly.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of ceiling fans. Install ceiling fans and make sure they are blowing downward in a counter-clockwise direction in order to send air past your body.
- Postpone activities that require hot water and large energy use – such as washing dishes or clothes – to early morning or late evening. This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home.
- Use the dishwasher and clothes washer late in the evening, and make sure they are filled to capacity before running them. When used during the day, these appliances produce additional heat, causing your air conditioner to work harder.
- Drying your clothes outside rather than using your clothes dryer in the summer will help you save energy as well!
- Use cold water to wash dishes and clothes. This will save on water heating costs.
- Avoid using the stove if possible. Consider grilling outside instead.
- Unplug equipment not in use. Electric chargers, televisions and audio/video equipment use electricity and produce heat even when they are not in use.
- Turn lights off when exiting a room. They add to the heat in the home.
- Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with energy efficient compact florescent lights (CFLs) or LEDs with the ENERGYSTAR label. These efficiency lighting products use approximately one quarter of the energy compared to incandescent lamps. Remember to recycle CFLs whenever possible.
- Sign up for the Home Energy Solutions program through the Energize Connecticut initiative to weatherize your home in preparation for the colder months! This energy assessment and on-site service includes air and duct sealing, replacement of incandescent lights with CFLs, installation s of faucet aerators and redeemable rebates for heating and cooling equipment, appliances and insulation.
And here’s another tip: if you’re thinking about making improvements to your home to save energy or improve comfort, visit Energize Connecticut at www.energizect.com to learn more about the efficiency programs and rebates available.