By a great deal, the largest portion of your energy bill comes from your home’s heating and cooling system. With ACs running all day during the summer, energy customers can expect to receive some of their highest energy bills of the year between June and September.
Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer in the summer heat in order to lower your energy costs and save up some money. By following some of these simple summer energy-saving tips, you can keep the temperature of your home or office, as well as your budget, well within your comfort zone.
1. Maintenance of AC/Heat Pumps
Whether your cooling unit is new or it has offered reliable service for many years, it makes sense to have it inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Regular maintenance allows it to perform efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting its maintenance may lead to poor performance, unnecessarily high energy use and even poor air quality.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a certified technician to give your cooling unit a quick, basic check. You can easily perform the following tasks:
- Vacuum air vents regularly to remove any dust buildup and ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your vents.
- Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your thermostat. The thermostat will sense the heat these appliances create, which can cause your A/C to run longer than necessary.
However, checking the coils, fins, evaporative cooler, and heat pump may require the services of a professional.
2. Clean or Replace Your Air Filter
Replacing your air filter is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to make sure that your AC runs smoothly and efficiently. Clogged or dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce your AC’s ability to absorb heat. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your AC’s energy usage by up to 15%.
Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter every couple of months. Filters need more frequent attention if your A/C is in constant use or if it is subjected to excessive dust and if you have fur-shedding pets.
3. Wash Strategically
Washing machines, clothes dryers, and dishwashers all generate a ton of heat. Cut back on this by only using cold water to do your washing. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes to avoid running the appliances too much. Avoid using your clothes dryer entirely. After washing, hang up your wet clothes to air dry.
The cold-water technique isn’t just for clothes and dishes; you can use it for your body as well. It may take some getting used to, but a cold shower can be brisk and refreshing in the hot, sweaty months of summer.
4. Pair Your AC with fans
Running a fan is much cheaper than running your air conditioning. In fact, running a fan 24/7 for an entire month would only cost about 5 dollars on your electricity bill. Unfortunately, fans don’t actually produce cold air—they just circulate the existing air around. The air flow creates a wind chill effect that helps people feel more comfortable, but it does nothing to change the temperature.
However, fans and air conditioning work very well together. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to set your thermostat higher with no reduction in comfort. Remember to turn your fans off when you leave the house.
5. Blinds are Your Friend
Not home during the day? Close your blinds or drapes to keep out the greenhouse effect of the sun.
Southern- and western-facing walls take the brunt of the sun’s heat, so invest in good drapes or shades for the windows on these walls and keep them closed. North-facing windows admit relatively even, natural light, producing little glare and almost no unwanted summer heat gain. You can leave these shades open to admit natural light into your house without heating things up.
6. Choose LED Light Bulbs
If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, then it’s time to switch to LED lights. Incandescent bulbs are extremely inefficient. Only about 10 to 15% of the electricity that they use gets turned into light—the rest becomes waste heat.
LED lights are the most energy-efficient lighting option currently available. They use 75% less energy, last 25 times longer, and run much cooler than standard incandescent lights. They cost a little more up front but soon pay for themselves in energy savings.
7. More Barbeques, Less Baking
Cooking with a conventional oven can add unwanted heat to your house, forcing your AC to work harder. Do more of your cooking with on your cooker top or slow cooker to keep the kitchen cool. Better yet, use the summer heat as an excuse to fire up the old backyard barbeque.
Outdoor grilling is a summertime tradition for a reason—you can cook delicious meats and veggies while keeping the heat outside.
8. Not Using it? Unplug it!
From your computer to your toaster, all electronics generate heat. Even if it’s switched off, just being plugged in generates a small amount of heat in the wiring.
Too keep things cool, unplug any electronics you’re not using. It’s not much per device, but add up all the gizmos in your home, and it can make a few degrees difference.
9. Source Your Energy on Electricity Marketplaces
Save on Your Energy Bill All Year Long
Energy savings isn’t just a summertime activity. Whether you rent or own your home or business space, Suncontract's energy marketplace offers you real opportunities for savings. Both our residential and business customers have the option to set consumer orders for energy producers to fulfill.
A consumer order is essentially the price at which the energy consumer would like to buy electricity at. Alternatively, if the consumer identifies a producer who is selling energy at this price, they simply can click on the "Accept button" of the producer's order and the two enter a P2P energy agreement.
This trade of energy between the two parties is settled without the need for a middleman energy retailer. The absence of a middleman supplier contributes to energy savings since their operational costs are eliminated. SunContract only charges a transaction fee of a few cents per transaction.
By creating smart energy habits households and businesses can reduce waste, improve efficiency, and save money on their energy bills year-round.
You can learn more benefits of the SunContract energy marketplace here: https://blog.suncontract.org/en/benefits-of-an-energy-marketplace