Cutting Energy Costs: Tips for Saving on Air Conditioning and Utilities in the Summer
As the summer heat continues, finding ways to save on energy costs is becoming increasingly important. With air conditioners working hard to keep your home cool, it is essential to consider how you can not only reduce your energy bill but also assist in the maintenance of a healthy environment. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), air conditioners are present in more than 75% of American households and they are responsible for releasing approximately 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
With temperatures hotter than ever, air conditioning has never felt so necessary. Unfortunately, energy costs are only rising as resources become increasingly less available Consumers paid 14.3% more for electricity last year, on average. The U.S. is working to combat this issue with a new energy bill called the “Lower Energy Costs Act” that will increase U.S. production of oil, natural gas, and coal while boosting the production of valued minerals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Hopefully, this new bill will lower energy costs in the future, but until then, here are a few things you can do to ensure this month's electricity bill is your best electricity bill to date.
Cover Your Windows!
You may be surprised to know, but covering your windows is a great way to keep your house cool in the summer. If you enjoy natural light but need to keep the electricity bill down, consider buying mesh-like window screens. According to the DOE, mesh-like window screens can intercept energy before it enters the house. When positioned on the outside of your windows, these screens can block sunlight from reaching your home, helping to maintain a cooler indoor environment. Window screens are also particularly effective on eastern and western-facing windows.
Use Your Thermostat Wisely!
A thermostat is a device that automatically regulates air conditioning when your home reaches a certain temperature. The device position is crucial to both air conditioning maintenance and your electricity bill. If your thermostat is in a location that experiences direct sunlight, it will cause the air conditioner to run more than necessary and colder than necessary, resulting in a higher electric bill.
Replace Your Air Filter To Reduce Energy Usage!
One step you can take to lessen your energy usage is replace your air filter at the beginning of each month. Air filters cost around $5.00 each so you can achieve multiple benefits for your wallet and the environment. When your air filter is clogged with dust and dirt, it requires more energy to work. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your A/C’s energy usage by up to 15%. This way, air can flow freely and more efficiently throughout your home.
Buy a Ceiling Fan!
Ceiling fans are an effective and affordable way to reduce energy usage in the home. Using a ceiling fan can make a room feel cooler. So much cooler that you can increase the thermostat temperature by 4 degrees and will most likely not experience any discomfort. A ceiling fan can use up to 90% less energy per hour than an air conditioning unit. By using ceiling fans, homeowners can save money on their energy bills, decrease their carbon footprint, and help reduce the need for air conditioning maintenance.
Best Energy Bill Yet!
By making use of the tips highlighted above, you may be able to significantly reduce your electricity usage and obtain your best energy bill yet. Although initial costs may be associated with implementing measures such as solar window screens, ceiling fans, and smart thermostats, they are investments that pay off in the long run. Why wait to lower your costs?