5 Ways to Lower Your Power Bill While Cooling Your Home This Summer
As the temperatures hit the roof this summer, the power bill seems to do the same. If you’re wondering how to lower an electric bill, there are certain things you can do. While Energy Star, a branch of the US Department of Energy, states that 29% of the energy bill in a regular household goes on heating, cooling a home follows suit with 13%.
Fortunately, cutting electric bills does not necessarily mean buying expensive gadgets and spending lots of money on star rated energy systems. With just a few simple tricks and minor adjustments on how you operate certain appliances in your home, you can significantly reduce the power bills. Here are 5 simple tips on how to lower your electric bill while still keeping your house cool this summer.
1. Replace Air Filters Regularly
One of the quickest ways to reduce power bills is to regularly clean or replace the air filters. Air filters not only keep the air clean but they also protect the air conditioner from getting damaged. If the air filter gets clogged, the system will have to work harder to do its job and in turn consume more energy than it should.
Depending on your system, the filters can either be reusable or one-time use types of filters. If they are one-time use, you should inspect them monthly and have them changed at least once every three months. However, if you have pets, you should replace them more often since pets shed fur that easily clogs the filter. Also, if you hear a whistle sound coming from the filter before the three months, consider changing them even if there are no pets around.
2. Adjust the Thermostat When You’re Not Home
A thermostat helps to keep the temperatures in your home constant. When the house is too cold, it switches on heating to warm the home, and when the temperatures reach the set level, it automatically switches the heating off.
Lowering the thermostat by 2 degrees can help save about 5 percent on your power bills. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, “you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting”. Not only will you save money on your bill, but it’s also an eco-friendly habit.
This can be a good time to think about smart thermostats as well, as you’ll have the convenience to schedule temperatures and hours as to suit your lifestyle. This way, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the thermostat on or off, lower it and so on.
You could also leverage the outdoor temperature at your advantage. In the evening, when it starts to cool down you should open the widows and allow the cool breeze to flow through the house. If you leave them open throughout the entire night, make sure to close them when it starts to get hot.
3. Close Shades, Blinds, or Curtains During the Day
While you may want to open the blinds to allow bright light in the house, you could be unconsciously heating your home in the process. Keeping the blinds closed completely will help reduce heat inside the house by approximately 45 percent.
Another thing you could do is use light colored treatments for the windows. The lighter the shade, the more they will deflect the scorching rays of the sun. Also, hang the blinds close to the window panes so that they can block the outdoor heat from radiating inside.
4. Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks can waste a lot of money in terms of energy loss, and the quickest energy saving task you can do is seal, caulk and weather strip all the cracks, seals and openings to the outside. Depending on where the leak is located, there’s different levels of opportunity in lowering your electric bill.
To test your home for air tightness, hold a lit incense stick on a windy day next to the doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, electrical boxes, attic hatches, ceiling fixtures and other places where there may be an air leak. If the smoke travels horizontally, the area will need sealing, caulking or weather-stripping.
5. Use Fans to Cool Your Rooms
Air conditioning systems use about 50 times more energy than fans which is why it is advisable to choose a fan over an air conditioner if you are looking to cool a room and save money at the same time.
It’s important to note that a fan works differently than an AC though. A fan creates a breeze around you and makes it feel cooler, but it does not in fact affect the temperature in the room. To lower your electric bill even more, make sure you turn it off when you leave the room.
Another option is attic fans that cool your attic. They can cool it down anywhere between 7 to 10 degrees. You can find through the roof exhaust fans that are controlled by a thermostat, usually set at 90 degrees.
The Bottom Line
Any of the five tips above should help you be comfortable and stay cool during the summer without ramping up your electric bill. In fact, the same principle applies to saving on power bills during the winter as well, when you need to keep the house warm. Paying attention to the thermostat, the flow of air and your habits, can really help save money. If you feel you are in need of electrical repairs that will also help reduce your power bill, call Penna Electric. Our knowledgeable, experienced staff will get your repairs right the first time, every time.
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