Use these tips to save money and keep cool during the summer.
- Weather-proof your home. Most people associate weather proofing and drafts as an activity you do when preparing for winter. However, weather proofing is just as valuable in the summer especial when drafts lead to cool air leaking out and hot air seeping in.
- Air infiltration will also cause your in-room air conditioner or HVAC system to work harder to cool more which in turn increase your electric bills.
- Check for drafts around windows, doors and vents to the exterior, like extraction fans or clothes dryer vents. Use a stick of incense to detect air movement and to see if you have a draft.
- Check the weather stripping on your windows and doors and replace if needed.
- Use spray foam or the proper calk (there are several kinds and this story helps explain them well) around windows and doors to fill small gaps and holes. Also check around outlets, cable jacks, telephone lines and dryer vents for gaps that causes air to escape.
- The recommended minimum setting for energy efficiency during the summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a programmable thermostat to decrease the temperatures in your home only when you are in it. According to this article from The Rancho Cordova Post, a programmable thermostat can save you over $100 per year over the non-programmable kinds.
- If you are going to be away from home for more than four hours, turn the AC off. If you are going to be gone less than two, keep the AC level the same.
- Purchase a whole house fan or ceiling fan to circulate cool air throughout your home.
- Skip the oven and cook using a microwave or grill outside in order to reduce the residual heat caused by a stove.
Properly maintain your air conditioner
- Change or clean the air filter (if you have a reusable filter.) It is recommended that you clean of change the air filter on your air conditioner at least twice a month during cooling season.
- Clean the dust off of your air conditioners coils with a coil brush. Remove the cover and use a soft brush, vacuum, or compressed air to clean the coils. The coils need to be clean for proper heat transfer.
- Straighten any AC fins that might have gotten bent over the year or while in storage.
- Dirty air conditioner parts and a dirty filter can cause your unit to work harder. Not only does this wear on the unit, it costs you more money to run the unit in the first place.
- When purchasing a new in-room air conditioner, buy only what you need. Measure the size of the room first and then multiply the length by the width and that total is your square footage. You can use a chart or calculation provided by a manufacturer (usually available on their website) to determine how many BTUs you need your air conditioner to handle. You will also want to take into account how shady or sunny the room will be. Add ten percent more for a sunny room, and take ten percent away for shaded rooms.
6. Unplug your phone charger and small appliances when not in use.
7. Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when you have full loads.
8. Lines dry your clothes and skip the clothes dryer for the summer and even into the fall.
9. Check with your local utility company to see if they offer any rebates of credits for purchasing programmable thermostats, Energy efficient air conditioning units, attic insulation. In Florida, the City of Ocala Electric 10. Utility is offer rebates on home heating and cooling upgrades and other energy-efficient appliances. Check with your local utility company to see what they offer.
11. Any energy-efficient improvements you make to your home might be viable for the federal tax credit. Areas covered include windows and doors, insulation, and HVAC improvements, check the EnergyStar.Gov Website to see what you need to do in order to qualify.
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