Summertime is here and in many areas of the U.S., that means a long time spent with the air conditioner on full blast. That could easily lead to a steep utility bill if you're not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can improve your home's overall energy efficiency and save a few bucks in the process, all without sacrificing any comfort.
Equip Your HVAC System with a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to set indoor temperatures for multiple times of day. For instance, you can schedule your thermostat to automatically set itself back up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit at night, when outdoor temperatures are likely to be lower and heating demands reduced. In addition to these programmable settings, you can also manually override them whenever you need immediate cooling comfort.
Using a programmable thermostat could save you up to 10 percent of your annual heating and cooling costs. When combined with an energy efficient HVAC system, the resultant savings can add up to a significant amount each year.
Use Your Ceiling Fans More Often
If your home is equipped with ceiling fans, you can use these to your advantage when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. Ceiling fans are capable of producing a wind chill effect that lowers perceived temperatures within the immediate vicinity.
In many cases, you can raise your thermostat by as much as 4 degrees without any noticeable loss in comfort. Ceiling fans can help take some of the load off of your air conditioner, reducing your home's energy consumption as well as your utility bill.
Consider Energy-Efficient HVAC Replacements
The latest air conditioners and other HVAC equipment are specifically designed to offer greater energy efficiency while providing similar or better performance than their predecessors. It's a good reason why you should consider an energy-efficient replacement to your current HVAC system. One way to find energy-efficient equipment is by looking for the prominent "Energy Star" on most appliances.
Another reason to pull the trigger on a newer, more energy-efficient air-conditioner is if your old unit is getting up there in years. Despite the average HVAC system having a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, it's usually a good idea to replace the unit within 10 years to ensure maximum safety and efficiency.
Eliminate Air Leaks through Sealing and Insulation
Poor sealing and insulation in your walls, attic, basement and around air ducts can cost you dearly over the long run. Approximately 30 percent of air losses can be traced back to various cracks and leaks within the air ducts, for example, although a thinly insulated wall or poorly sealed window frame cracks could also rob your home of its energy efficiency.
Ventilate after Showers, Baths and Cooking
Ordinary household tasks such as cooking, showering and bathing creates heat and moisture that could linger throughout your home. That means your HVAC system has to waste energy getting rid of the excess heat and moisture that's present.
Instead of relying solely on your air conditioner, you can use your bathroom exhaust fan to get rid of hot, humid air as you take a shower or bath. Likewise, your range hood's fan also comes in handy for venting hot air created through cooking activities. Talk to experts like Arlington Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.