After a seemingly endless winter, spring has finally sprung! What better way to wrap up Earth Month 2018 than by getting ready to save energy and money all spring and summer long? These tips will help you stay comfortable without breaking the bank.
Choose the right air conditioner.
About 6% of the average U.S. household energy use goes to space cooling. When buying an air conditioner, choose the smallest ENERGY STAR qualified unit appropriate for the size of the room you’re cooling. Too big a model not only costs more to operate but also can make a room uncomfortably clammy because oversized equipment can’t remove humidity as effectively.
Know when to turn it off.
Take advantage of those rare times when it’s cooler outside than in, and open your windows instead of using air conditioning. Use a window fan, blowing toward the outside, to pull cool air in through other windows and to push hot air out. When it’s warmer outside than inside, close your windows and then draw window coverings against direct sunlight to delay using your air conditioning for as long as possible.
Use procrastination to your advantage.
Delay heat-producting tasks and chores until night time. On hot days, it's best to minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer or dishwasher, doing laundry, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home. Also keep this in mind while cooking - avoid using the oven, and instead cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
Keep your cool.
A typical house has many places where air can move between living spaces and the attic, and between the basement and outdoors. The result is treated air being lost - and higher cooling bills. The solution is to seal gaps and then put in sufficient, well-installed insulation. The most effective, energy-saving solution is to hire a professional Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor.
Use your ceiling fan.
Your biggest ally in staying comfortable and keeping costs low could be your ceiling fan. In the summer, set your ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction. While standing directly underneath it, you should feel a cool breeze. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort! But remember: ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Don't forget to turn your fan off when the room is unoccupied.