According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of about $29 billion. During the summer months, many homeowners keep their air conditioners running at full blast without considering other energy-saving alternatives. Green’s Plumbing offers tips for homeowners to keep their homes cool during the sweltering summer months and save money on their energy bill.
Use a programmable thermostat
It is wise to use a programmable thermostat and raise the temperature when the resident is not home. Doing this will prevent the system from using unnecessary energy to cool the home if no one is home.
Turn on ceiling fans
If used in conjunction with an air conditioning system, the fans are very effective at lowering the indoor temperature by circulating the cool air throughout the room. In the summer, ceiling fan blades should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. In the winter the blades should turn clockwise to pull cool air up.
Postpone the use of appliances
On average, there are three major heat generating appliances in the home, the oven, dishwasher and dryer. It is best to use these devices in the evening instead of the hottest part of the day. If possible, skip using the oven during the summer and grill outside more often. Any use of the oven will heat up the home.
Keep the doors inside the home open
While in the winter, closing interior doors helps keep heat in specific rooms. Doing so in the hot summer months is detrimental to your cause. You want air to flow freely through rooms and throughout the entire home. Good airflow means a cooler home.
Change air filters regularly
Clogged filters will force the air conditioning system to work harder and use more energy, resulting in higher utility bills. Clean filters also improve indoor air quality.
Check the window coverings
Thermal drapes, cellular shades or blackout curtains will keep the heat outside and the cool air inside the home.