For the Greener Good: How to save energy during summer months
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Your Home: The Hidden Costs of Summer
Summertime means sun, beach, outdoor fun and – trying to stay cool in your home or place of business. You’ve purchased that ENERGY-STAR A/C or recently had your central air system inspected by a qualified professional. Now you’re ready to sit back and enjoy the savings, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, there may be some overlooked sources of energy waste around your home that can cost you all summer long. Some can be hard to spot, while others may be hiding in plain sight.
Adjusting thermostat settings is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save energy, but it’s often overlooked. In fact, about 45% of households set the thermostat at one temperature and leave it there, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Raising the temperature a few degrees can significantly reduce your summer energy bills without sacrificing comfort. Wi-Fi programmable thermostats make it easy, automatically adjusting temperatures based on your comings and goings.
Dirty air filter
Dirty air filters restrict airflow, making your cooling system work harder and costing you energy dollars. Regularly replace your air filter throughout the summer based on manufacturer’s instructions.
Heat gain through windows
Unwanted heat gain through windows reduces comfort and makes your cooling system work harder. Use window treatments, such as shades or blinds, on south- and east-facing windows to block unwanted heat gain from the sun.
Air leaks in the attic
Even if your attic is fully insulated, air leaks could still cost you money while making your upstairs hotter. Potential sources of air leaks include recessed lighting fixtures in the ceiling below your attic, as well as around plumbing vents, furnace flues and ductwork.
Your air conditioning system is designed for balance. Blocked vents keep conditioned air from getting where it’s supposed to go, reducing overall system efficiency and performance. Ensure that all supply and return air vents are fully open and unblocked by furniture or rugs.
Ceiling fans running in empty rooms
Ceiling fans create moving air that makes your skin feel cooler, reducing the need for air conditioning. However, they don’t actually cool the space. So, turn on the ceiling fan to feel cooler when you’re in a room. Just remember to turn it off when you’re the last one to leave to avoid wasting energy.
By finding and fixing these common sources of energy waste, you can enjoy a long season of cool summer savings. For 66 more ways to save energy in and around your home please visit our 66 Ways to Save