Summer creates an instant association with air conditioning. The hotter the weather gets, the more cooling is needed. The only problem with that is that AC can get expensive, especially if it’s always on. While it’s great to have AC as an option, you can dramatically cut your electricity bills if you use your HVAC system sparingly and turn to alternative cooling methods. Here are a few summer tips to stay cool and use less HVAC.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
You can reduce your summer cooling bill by 10%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you use a programmable thermostat. Instead of keeping the AC running the whole time you’re away from the home, you can program the thermostat to kick off shortly before you return. An ideal temperature to set while you’re away is 78 degrees, and 72 degrees when you get home.
Replace Dirty Air Filters
Checking your air filters routinely is important for both your health, and your electricity bill. Dirty filters can block air flow, which puts strain on your cooling system. They can also collect and spread pollutants inside your home. That’s why it’s a good idea to either clean or replace them monthly. This strategy can help you stay cool while reducing your AC consumption by up to 15%.
Consider using a reusable filter, which is more cost-effective. Those can be cleaned and reused month after month. Either way, the longevity of your HVAC system depends on keeping the filters clean.
Avoid Generating Heat in the Day
Even though summertime makes people gravitate toward cool activities, people still use heat in their homes. Cooking on a stove can create excessive heat that requires excessive cooling —which both lead to higher energy bills. Using electronics such as computers and TV all day can also add to heat, and the electric bill. Consider reserving these activities for night when it’s cooler.
Use Shade and Window Coverings
One of the best ways to keep your home naturally cool is to use shade — think curtains, blinds and shades. Lighter colours are recommended for these as they absorb less heat. Blocking out sunlight will not only keep you cool and use your HVAC system less, it will also protect your furniture from too much exposure to sunlight. Trees do a great job blocking sunlight too, if positioned well.
Turn Off Appliances
Whenever you leave your home, make sure to turn off all appliances that are not being used. Turn off lights and shut down computers. Another time when many people waste energy is when they’re asleep at night, as fans are usually left on. Try opening your windows instead, for better air circulation and lower bills.
Looking for more tips on how to stay cool this summer? Contact the professionals at Russell & Lemay to learn more about your HVAC system today!