The astronomical first day of summer this year is either June 20th or June 21st depending on your time zone. For meteorologists, however, summer begins on June 1st and runs through August 31st. Despite these differing views on when summer begins, the simple truth is that days are getting longer and nights are getting shorter. Higher electric bills usually accompany the summer cooling season. You can lower your bill by shopping for a lower electricity rate or reducing your electricity consumption. ElectricityMatch celebrates the first unofficial day of summer by offering these 3 simple ways to conserve energy and save your hard-earned dollars.
Improving the Thermal Seal
One of the best ways to reduce your electricity bill is to improve the thermal seal of your home. Nothing is more wasteful than paying for cool air and having it escape to the great outdoors. This can be as simple as caulking windows and replacing weatherstripping around doors. On a bigger scale, you can add insulation to your attic and make sure that the air conditioning ducts are properly sealed. Also, don’t forget to check your fireplace damper and make sure that it is closed for the season.
Reducing Heat in the Home
Your air conditioner works hard to cool the air in your home. Give your A/C an assist by making sure you minimize activities that generate heat. For example, almost 90% of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs is converted into heat. Changing to LED bulbs not only reduces electricity consumption but also eliminates waste heat. Consider using your microwave or grilling outdoors to reduce how much you use your stove and oven. Also, be sure to keep your water heater set between 115° – 120° F.
Shading the Compressor
Giving the air compressor some shade can significantly improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. Shrubs or trees work great for this purpose. However, be sure not to block the airflow around the compressor. Another way to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to use ceiling fans. Using a ceiling fan when a room is occupied will allow you to bump up your thermostat by a couple of degrees. This can result in significant savings on your electricity bill. Finally, consider installing a learning thermostat. Learning thermostats adjust to your lifestyle and preferences and optimize summer cooling as well as winter heating.
There you have it. You don’t need to spend a fortune to save on summer electricity costs. Follow these simple suggestions and you can sit back and enjoy the long days and warm nights of summer.