Summer is a here and it’s hot! Those warm summer nights and hot summer days are filled with time at the pool, barbequing, and enjoying time with family and friends. But along with the fun of summer comes the dreaded high utility bill. Summer is hot, especially here in Charlotte. It’s too hot to keep the windows open so your air conditioner runs throughout the day and night just so you can stay comfortable. With utility rate increases, your utility bill probably just keeps getting higher and higher. What can you do to cut costs and potentially cut your bill in half this summer? Patterson Heating & Air Conditioning has some great tips to help!
Replace Your Air Filters in Charlotte
Clean air filters make your air conditioner run more efficiently. Dirty and clogged air filters will contribute to higher utility bills, causing your air conditioner to work harder to circulate the air throughout your home. It will also help with allergies, asthma, and other breathing conditions. Check them once a month and replace them as needed.
Avoid Those Heat-Generating Appliances
The oven, dryer, and dishwasher create a lot of heat that warms up your house every time you use them. Try to find alternatives whenever possible and you’ll see savings in the long run.
Instead of using the oven, you can cook on the stovetop, use a crockpot, or even fire up the grill.
Instead of using the dryer, hang items outside to dry. If you suffer from spring allergies; look for places around your house where you can lay out the laundry or look into purchasing drying racks.
Water heaters require energy. Wash your laundry and dishes in cold water to save energy.
Instead of using the dishwasher, wash dishes by hand and let them air dry.
If you need to use the dryer or dishwasher, run them in the early mornings or overnight. Also, make sure you have a clean dryer vent and trap. If they are full of lint, it take longer to dry your clothes and will use more energy.
Keep Your Blinds and Curtains Closed from Direct Light
If you’re away from home, keep all your blinds and curtains closed. It’s best to keep the blinds or curtains closed during these hot sunny hours. It will significantly lower the temperature in your home. When you are home and want to use natural light to save energy, only open the blinds or curtains that will let in indirect light during the early morning and evening hours.
Use Fans in Your Home
Ceiling fans are a great cost-effective way to cool you off. Just remember to turn your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise during the summer.
If you don’t have ceiling fans, invest in portable fans. You can find inexpensive fans that have several different speeds, settings, and come with remotes.
Use your bathroom fan when you take a shower. A bathroom fan will suck up the humidity and heat from your shower.
Use Low Flow Showerheads
Installing low flow showerheads will reduce the amount of water consumed when you shower.
Turn Down Your Water Heater or Go Tankless
Most thermostats on water heaters are set to 140 degrees. Turning it down to 120 degrees will lower your utility bills and still maintain a comfortable water temperature. Your water heater uses energy to maintain a constant water temperature. By lowering the temperature your water heater uses less energy.
Because tankless water heaters only work when you turn on hot water, they use less energy than standard water heaters. Switching to a tankless water heater may lower your utility bills.
Once your incandescent light bulbs stop working, replace them with LED bulbs. LED bulbs are more expensive but last much longer and use 80 to 90% less energy than incandescent light bulbs, providing you savings on the electric bill.
Turn It Off and Use Power Strips
Turn off lights, computers, and televisions. Unplug phones and tablets when not charging. Simple steps like these can make a big difference in the amount of electricity you and your home consume. You can even plug your electronics and appliances into power strips. Turn the power strip off when you can. Many of our electronics and appliances use energy even when they’re not in use.
Raise Your Thermostat in Charlotte
Keep your thermostat at a comfortable temperature but not too cool. Try turning it up a couple degrees and see if your home is still comfortable. Keep it as high as possible while still maintaining your comfort level. A few degrees higher on the thermostat will save you money.
You can lower your cooling bill as much as 10% by turning your temperatures down seven to ten degrees. A programmable thermostat allows you to set a schedule which would increase the temperatures during the times you’re not there.
You could also purchase a smart thermostat which allows you to control the temperature in your home remotely through a smartphone, tablet, remote control, or by voice. More advanced smart thermostats actually “learn” from your behaviors. Over time, they recognize and remember your regular heating and cooling habits. They will determine the most appropriate temperature based on the time of year, the time of day, the number of occupants, and previous patterns of use.
Properly Insulate Your Home
Before summer is in full swing, make sure your home is properly insulated. Once you turn your air conditioner on, you want to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. Check windows and doors for places where air may be getting in or out. If needed, caulk windows and replace weather stripping on the doors.
Check the ductwork in your attic or crawlspaces for leaks. A properly insulated home will help keep down costs and preserve energy.
Maintain Your Air Conditioner with Patterson Heating & Air Conditioning
Keeping to a regular maintenance schedule will ensure that your unit is working efficiently; which in turn will reduce the amount of energy consumed by your A/C system.
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