Summers aren't long in our region, but they can be pretty warm and humid, necessitating shutting up the home and turning on the air conditioner during the hottest months. Nevertheless, summer is a great time for homeowners to save money on energy bills by putting some efficient practices into play. Learn how to realize some summer savings in your home.
1. Keep your air conditioner well maintained.
A misbehaving A/C can run up utility bills. For instance, low refrigerant can make your system work harder to reach a temperature set point. You're always better off planning annual spring maintenance and replacing parts as needed before you need major repairs. Also, be sure to change the air filter as often as the manufacturer recommends — monthly for inexpensive fiberglass filters, and every two to three months for better-quality pleated filters.
2. Use your thermostat strategically.
If you have a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat, set it to run a few degrees higher at night and when you're away from home. Over time, you'll experience real savings on your electricity bill.
3. Monitor humidity levels.
Humidity over 50 percent in the home in the summer can make us feel warmer, so that we end up turning down the thermostat to compensate. If you suspect the humidity in your home is too high, find out why. It could be due to a dirty air filter, a plumbing or ceiling leak (fix leaks right away) or there's something haywire with your A/C, so that it's not removing sufficient humidity from the home to keep you comfortable. Buy a low-cost hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.
4. Install ceiling fans.
Fans move the breeze across your skin so you feel cooler, allowing you to keep the thermostat a little higher than you would otherwise.