Keep Your Energy Bills from Rising with the Heat

Published
08/03/2015

Steaming hot summer is upon us and the heat and humidity is all set to worsen in the coming month. So, even while we finally put the worries of exorbitant space heating expenses and finding cheap oil in Bergen County, Ramsey, NNJ behind us, the fear of rising cooling costs is escalating by the day.

 

Indeed, air conditioners are running almost 24/7, and you may still find yourself sweating thinking of the dwindling balance in your checking account! While air conditioners are essential and have become a way of life in the summer months, there are things that you can do to cut your energy consumption and thus trim back on your bills. Such as:

 

  • Switch off – You don’t necessarily need air conditioning all the time, unless it’s sweltering hot outside. At a reasonable temperature, ceiling fans can cool the room to make you feel comfortable and cut costs too. Consider opening the windows in the mornings or nights to let cool air inside. This can be supplemented with a whole house fan in the attic to draw cool air in and force hot air out.
  • Turn down – Do you really need to keep the thermostat at such a low setting? Turning it up a few notches higher can instantly lead to considerable savings. If it still feels warm, you can always complement it by using the ceiling fan. The Department of Energy recommends that the thermostat should be set at 78°F for optimal energy efficiency. And do not forget to turn it up higher when you sleep at night and when leaving the house.
  • Step out – Why do you need to stay indoors in the beautiful summer? Go to the park or beach to indulge in the warm weather while it lasts. Winter will be here before you know it and leave us huddled indoors again.
  • Proper equipment – Your air conditioner could be eating more energy than your neighbor’s. Investing in energy efficient appliances and maintaining them properly can save a bundle in the long run.
  • Proper usage – It’s not just about buying the right air conditioner; you also have to use it properly. For instance, dirty or clogged air filters block the airflow, overwork the system and make it use more energy. Check and clean the filters at least once a month and replace when needed. Moreover, allow the air conditioner to slowly cool the house. Lowering the temperature immediately hoping for quick cooling will only kick it into overdrive without the benefit of corresponding results.
  • Fix the loopholes – Cool air may be leaving the house and warm air finding its way inside from multiple places. Carefully check for and fix leaks around doors, windows, ducts, switchboards, outlet covers and so on. Properly insulate windows and attic areas as an extra measure.
  • Natural methods – Certain measures can help keep the house from heating up too much in the first place. Strategically plant some leafy trees or vines around the house (especially East and West directions) and ensure that there are shrubs shading the external unit of the air conditioner. Use heavy curtains on the windows to block the sun and keep all blinds or shades closed during the day. You can even opt for solar screens or reflective films on the windows.

 

In short, you can still enjoy the summer without beating yourself up over the bills!

 

What measures do you take to reduce your energy consumption during the summer? Share your ideas below. 

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