Five Energy-Saving Tips For Summer
If you hesitate to turn on your air conditioning because you’re afraid of higher energy bills, it’s time to get real about energy efficiency. The good news is we have five simple tips that will help you save energy without sacrificing comfort this summer. Look at the five of the best ways to lower your energy bills this cooling season:
1. Use window treatments: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than three-quarters of the sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows will become heat in your home. That’s great news in winter, but not so great in the summer.
Window treatments can go a long way to reducing this solar gain! Reflective window film, light-colored curtains or blinds, or even white towels can reduce the amount of direct sunlight that falls in your home. For tips on window treatments for all seasons, see the U.S. Department of Energy website.
2. Seal air leaks: Home energy efficiency is mostly about keeping hot air and cold air separated. In the summer season, you want to retain as much cool air as possible while keeping the hot air out.
The only way to do that is to keep your home as airtight as possible. Unfortunately, most homes leak about the equivalent of an open window’s worth of conditioned air through cracks around windows, doors, and other openings. An afternoon with some caulk—for surfaces that don’t move, such as window frames—and weather stripping—for areas where two surfaces interact, such as jambs around doors—will be a worthwhile investment that will pay for itself in the form of lower bills.
3. Avoid using heat-making appliances: Find alternatives to using your oven and clothes dryer, especially on hot days. Both appliances will add to your home’s cooling load, making your air conditioner work harder to keep your home cool. Use your slow cooker, toaster oven and microwave—or better yet, break out your outdoor grill! Clothes lines and drying racks work great, too.
Another heat making appliance in the home that most people don’t think about is their incandescent lighting. About 90 percent of the energy that incandescent light bulbs produce is emitted as heat, not light. This makes having lamps that use incandescent bulbs like having mini-space heaters placed all throughout your home. Replace all the light bulbs in your home with LEDs and you’ll save money on your energy bill twice—once because the bulbs need less energy to run, the second time because you’ll be reducing your cooling load!
4. Change your A/C filter: Your central air conditioner can use as much as 10 percent more energy if the filter is clogged or dirty. Running your A/C with a clogged filter will also cause unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment and make repairs more likely, costing you even more! Change your air filter at the start of the cooling season and check it about once every six weeks during it—doing so more frequently if you have shedding pets in your household.
5. Have your equipment professionally serviced: On average, your cooling equipment will lose about five percent efficiency each year you skip routine maintenance which means that annual maintenance will virtually pay for itself in energy savings alone.
Add to that the fact that your warranty probably requires you to have maintenance—plus all the headaches you’ll avoid by keeping your equipment running at its reliable best—and annual tune-ups become a no-brainer investment for your equipment!
Stay cool for less this summer! Keep your equipment running at peak efficiency with expert A/C maintenance in northern New Jersey and lower NY State from the pros at Bolkema. Contact us today to learn more about air conditioning service and repair in New Jersey!