The invention of air conditioning made life immensely more comfortable for all of us. It is very pleasant to be able to come home to a cool house on a hot summer day. We pay for that comfort, however, in the form of higher energy consumption and increased utility bills. A house’s A/C unit utilizes 15 to 25 percent of the total energy the house uses monthly. To begin to put together a homeowner’s Summer Energy Savings plan, the first item to address is efficient use of your air conditioning system.
Most people can be comfortable with a thermostat setting of 78°F to 80°F, so set your temperature up some. You will save seven to ten percent on cooling costs for each degree you set it above 78°F. If you have ceiling fans, run them along with your A/C and your will feel four to five degrees cooler. Just be sure to turn the fan off when you leave the room, as the fan cools you and not the room. Set the thermostat up several degrees when you will be away from home for several hours. Better yet, invest in and install a programmable thermostat. Close air vents in rooms you do not use. Make sure the return air vent is not blocked in any way. Clean the filter when it is dirty and check it once a month.
Once you are sure you are using your air conditioning in the most efficient and effective manner, consider the ways you can reduce energy use with your other household appliances. They also are big energy consumers in the home. Further Energy Savings may be achieved when you:
• Set your water heater’s temperature to 120°F. When you go on vacation, turn it off.
• Take short showers instead of tub baths.
• Wait until the dishwasher is full to run the load. Turn it off after the wash cycle to allow the dishes to air dry.
• Cook with your microwave or on your grill more in the summer.
• Do not open the oven when cooking. You will lose one quarter of the heat if you do.
• Do not run the vent hood when the air conditioning is running.
• Do laundry and dishwashing in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
• Do laundry all in one evening. Once the dryer does one load, it does not take as long to heat again.
• Keep the dryer’s lint screen clean. Vent the dryer to the outside or the crawl space.
• Wash clothes in cold water. Wash full loads.
• Hand clothes on a line outside to dry.
Choose from dozens of other tips available on the Internet for saving energy in the summer to complete your HVAC Energy Savings Home Energy Savings summer plan. You may also call to learn about how replacing your old A/C unit with an energy efficient HVAC system will create energy and financial savings this summer.