For much of the southern United States, summer has cometh, and it has come with a ferocity not seen in several years. Some if not all states in the south have already seen triple-digit heat as early-season high pressure has situated itself over the south-central portion of the country. With no relief in sight, high energy prices looming, and a most certainly hot summer brewing for much of the country, now is a great time to evaluate your home for energy inefficiencies and save on your electricity bill.
Here are some of our tips to beat the heat by saving energy this summer.
Replace Your Air Filter Monthly
As ridiculous as it may sound (especially since you bought the “90-day” air filter), replacing your air filter monthly during the heat of the summer may very well save you some money on your cooling costs. A dirty filter robs your air handler or furnace of moving air across the evaporator coil thereby causing your entire air conditioning system to work harder, run longer, and generally run with lower efficiency.
Replacing your air filter monthly, whether it needs it or not, will improve your A/C’s efficiency and reduce runtime, therefore, reducing the amount of electricity your home is consuming.
Adjust Your Thermostat Settings
In a world where smart devices and the “internet of things” rule our homes, thermostats are increasingly becoming part of our connectivity. By adjusting your home’s thermostat settings, you can save on your electric bill significantly. In a perfect world, a programmable or smart thermostat would be the go-to, but even if you have a “dumb” or non-programmable thermostat, you can achieve similar results.
During the day, when people are gone from your home, set your thermostat to 78 or 80 degrees. This will allow your home to warm up slightly while you’re at work or away from home without threatening your home with excessive heat from turning your t-stat “off” entirely. Once you get home, feel free to set the thermostat at 75 degrees and lower it again when it’s time for bed. Even a degree or two bump up in your traditional thermostat settings could save quite a bit of money over the course of a hot summer.
Become Big Fans of Fans
Fans are your friend in the hot summer months. Ceiling fans, standing fans, and even more heavy-duty floor fans can make a big difference in the perceived feeling of your spaces during the heat of the day or while you’re home. Fans, relative to central heat and air, use significantly less energy but can make your home feel several degrees cooler which can allow you to turn that thermostat up just a few degrees higher.
Not only do fans help your home feel cooler while you’re there, but they can help circulate air throughout your home and assist in evening out hot spots throughout the day. By turning on ceiling fans instead of your central A/C system, you’ll be sure to save a little extra money all summer long.
Adjust Your Cooking Regimen
When it’s already hot and you’re trying to stay cool, it stands to reason that heating up your home unnecessarily is wasteful. Therefore, do your best to cook outside if possible and limit the use of your oven. If you bake your own bread, pizzas, etc, then try to consolidate your baking to one or two days to lower the use of your stove and oven. Additionally, try using smaller appliances such as toaster ovens, air fryers, and instant pots to cook your meals indoors.