As the temperature inches up higher each day, there’s no reason for the monthly electric bill to do the same.
Welcome to summer! Time for outdoor Bar-B-Q’s, swim parties, vacation and the electric meter working overtime. Even though the season is in full swing, it’s never too late to take measures to keep your electric bill under control. A few common sense measures can make a big difference.
Keep your thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. 78° is recommended by most experts. Each degree below this could drive up your energy cost 5%-7%. Also take advantage of ceiling and oscillating fans. Circulating the air will not only keep your home cooler; it will also put less strain on your AC unit.
Change your air filter monthly. A dirty filter slows the airflow, forcing your AC to work harder. Dust from a dirty filter can also led to build up in the vital components of your AC which could lead to system failure and costly repairs. Switching out the filter regularly can also prevent dust and pet dander from circulating in your home, so everyone breathes easier.
Stop air leakage. Having the most energy efficient house won’t help if you have air leaks from ill fitting doors or windows. An improperly sealed home is the energy-wasting equivalent of living with the front door wide open. Weatherstripping doors and caulking windows is both inexpensive and easy project that can be completed in a single weekend. In addition to leaking windows and doors, be sure to check the bathroom fan vent, attic hatch, electrical outlets or any closure that could be the source of a leak.
Use a programmable thermostat. Many home improvement professionals agree a good programmable thermostat could save the average homeowner 10%-20% monthly. By programming the temperature to a warmer setting (or cooler in winter), what you’re at work or away from home you enjoy the benefits of saving on your next electric bill without sacrificing comfort while at home.
Your home air conditioner is the biggest culprit when it comes to raising your electric bill, most times making up 50% or more of your total electric usage. Often, many of the problems stem from low refrigerant, dirty coils, leaks or other items only a professional can diagnose. To insure your unit is running at optimum performance, have a qualified service professional inspect and service your unit at least once every other year. If your unit is 15 years old or older, consider replacing it. Newer models available today are more efficient and can save you up to 35% on your total electric bill. When purchasing a unit look for ones with a SEER rating of 12 or higher for maximum efficiency. A reputable HVAC contactor can help you determine the right unit for your specific needs.
Summer is a time to relax and enjoy some down time. Some common sense practices can help you make the dog days more enjoyable with one less worry.
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