BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Summer is officially here and that means the heat is on! But beating the heat doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a variety of easy and budget-friendly energy efficiency measures.
“One of the most affordable and effective ways to save money on cooling costs is with a programmable thermostat,” said Eversource Energy Efficiency Spokesman Enoch Lenge. “For as little as $30, a homeowner with central air conditioning can gain more control over energy use and begin reducing cooling costs by more than 16 percent.”
Air conditioners, fans, and other appliances work overtime when it’s sweltering outside. This can cause an increase in a home’s energy use and costs. Room air conditioners work most efficiently when kept out of direct sunlight. So, if possible, avoid installing them in south-facing windows. To enhance efficiency, increase the temperature on air conditioners, and keep them set at a moderate temperature throughout the day. In addition to programming a thermostat to manage energy use, homeowners can achieve significant savings through routine cooling system maintenance, air sealing, and weatherization measures.
Other tips for keeping temperatures and energy costs low in the summer include the following:
- Don’t block air flow. Keep air vents clear of obstructions such as furniture, curtains and rugs. For those with central air and floor vents, consider using vent deflectors to direct and increase the reach of cooled air.
- Operate major appliances during the cooler parts of the day. Less heat is generated, and energy is conserved by using appliances like clothes washers and dryers early in the morning or late in the evening, when there is also less demand on the electric system.
- Keep blinds closed when it’s hot out to prevent unwanted heat from entering the home through windows. Using curtains, shades, and blinds can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees.
- Switch to LED lights. The energy efficient bulbs run cooler and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
- Set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise and at a higher speed in the summer to circulate the breeze more effectively, creating a cooling, wind chill effect.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR rating when purchasing new appliances. Also, be sure to choose the right size when purchasing an air conditioning unit. An oversized or undersized AC unit is less effective and wastes energy.