Are you concerned about your energy bills this summer? Then start taking steps to save money and save energy this spring. Start by scheduling your air conditioner maintenance now — before you need air conditioning. (Keep reading for all the benefits of an annual tune-up.)
1. Service your air conditioner
Annual maintenance is a small investment that reaps big benefits. Before the start of the season, have your HVAC professional do a thorough inspection that includes cleaning and servicing all the major components of your system. Doing so keeps your equipment functioning efficiently and reliably, keeps your energy bills low, prevents unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs, and extends the life of your system.
2. Set the thermostat to a higher temperature.
For every degree higher you set your thermostat when the weather is warm, you can save an estimated 6 to 8 percent on your energy bill. (Lower if you are still using your furnace.) A programmable thermostat makes it easy to adjust the temperature when you’re not home so you aren’t paying to heat or cool an empty house.
3. Allow sunlight in.
As much as possible, use natural rather than artificial light.
4. Use ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans are an economical way to cool your home while still raising your thermostat as much as 4 degrees.
5. Cover your windows.
Energy efficient window treatments such as blinds, shades or films can drastically reduce heat gain during hot weather, reducing energy costs.
6. Seal your ducts.
Don’t pay to cool air that never makes it into your living space. Sealing and insulating ducts prevents wasteful leaks that raise your energy bills but don’t improve your comfort.
7. Allow fresh are in — open windows.
When temperatures are relatively mild, you can cool your home with natural ventilation. Opening windows creates a cross-breeze that lowers the temperature without turning on your air conditioner.
8. Avoid cooking inside.
The stove and oven heat up your kitchen and nearby rooms. Use an outdoor grill or enjoy meals that don’t require cooking.
9. Seal air leaks.
Seal cracks with caulk and apply weather-stripping around windows and doors to prevent warm air from coming in and air conditioned air from leaking out.
10. Invest in Energy Star appliances.
Energy Star refrigerators, dishwashers, and heating and cooling systems run more efficiently and can reduce your home energy use by up to 50 percent. They also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. Energy Star appliances are a smart choice for your wallet and the environment.