There are a few telltale signs that summer has arrived: sunny skies, vacation plans, and happy kiddos. Another sign can be sky-high electric bills as we crank up the AC. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your summer bliss and forget to notice your energy habits. Well not to worry, we are here to help shed some light on ways you can improve your energy efficiency. With a few simple-to-implement suggestions, you can have a cool summer and money back in your wallet too!
- Schedule regular maintenance on your cooling system throughout the year. While your equipment may run perfectly one season, it typically goes unused for a significant period of time throughout the year. You want to make sure you are keeping an eye on your air conditioning system even when it is not in use. Scheduling regular maintenance is key to ensuring your system is prepared for heavy use in the warmer months.
- Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature. This may seem obvious, but the cooler you set your thermostat, the higher your energy costs. Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature that provides humidity control if needed to get the most bang for your buck. Also, consider investing in a programmable thermostat so you can leave your home warmer when you are away and adjust it when you are home. Avoid setting the thermostat colder when first turning your air conditioner on – this will not cool your home any faster but it will make your energy bills climb.
- Use window coverings. This is a great way to add a decorative touch to your living space while also preventing excessive heat gain through your windows. You can find a variety of options on the market today that are designed for maximum energy efficiency.
- Consider other lighting options. There are many lighting options available when looking for increased energy efficiency. You can also use natural daylight – while avoiding direct sunlight, as a free and simple alternative.
- Use fans and ventilation systems. Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect, which is a great way to feel cooler – just make sure to turn them off when you leave the room. Also, try using bathroom and kitchen fans vented to the outside to remove heat and humidity. Be sure to vacuum air intake vents regularly to remove any buildup of dust or debris.
- Re-arrange your living space for optimal functionality. Ensure that lamps and TV sets are away from your thermostat. The thermostat will sense heat from items that are too close and increase their run time longer than necessary. Also, move furniture and other items away from air vents as to not prevent air from entering the room.
- Seal areas where hot air could be entering your home or business. Seal any cracks to prevent outside air from entering your home or business. You can do this simply by adding caulk or weather-stripping around windows and doors.
- Wash and dry more efficiently. Wash full loads of clothes and dishes when possible for increased efficiency and cost savings. Also, check that you are heating your water to the appropriate temperature. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends setting your water heater no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding. Heating any higher than this will result in wasted energy.
- Upgrade your appliances. While this one does require an initial investment, you will see savings over time. Choosing ENERGY STAR-certified appliances ensures that your appliances are operating in the most energy-efficient way.
We are ecstatic that summer has arrived and can’t wait to soak up the sun. So, get your sandals and sunscreen and make your way to the pool because this summer you don’t have to sacrifice cool. With proper planning and a few adjustments to your routine and equipment, you can be sure to experience savings all summer long.
To learn more about UGI EnergyLink, check out our website.