Here at PWA, we know that everyone is always looking for ways to be more efficient with their money. Now that summer’s here, staying cool can make electricity bills skyrocket, so here are some strategies to help keep cool and save cash at the same time.
- Change your air conditioner’s filter. The most important HVAC maintenance is routinely replacing or cleaning your filters. If they’re clogged or dirty, they’ll block normal airflow and reduce efficiency significantly, meaning more expense and wear and tear on your entire system. Replacing an old filter can lower your AC’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%, meaning you save on your monthly bill.
- Adjust your AC or switch to a SMART thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy says you can save as much as 10% a year by turning your thermostat up 7°-10°F when you’re not home. Or better yet, automate it! Program a SMART thermostat based on your schedule to keep things cool when you’re home and save money when you’re not – you can always manually override the settings temporarily if needed. Depending on the thermostat model and your energy usage, you can save enough in a year to cover the initial cost of switching.
- Be more energy-efficient with a free ENERGY STAR analysis. In just five minutes, you can create your personal energy profile using ENERGY STAR Home Advisor. This online tool walks you through creating your comprehensive home profile, generates a prioritized list of custom savings recommendations, and helps you track your progress toward better energy efficiency!
- Home improvements, from basic to beyond. Many homes are drafty, so check for door and window cracks that may allow AC to escape, and install thermal stripping or insulating foam to keep cool air in and hot air out. Invest in thermal blackout curtains or shades for windows in direct sunlight – blocking the sun during the day can reduce heat gain by 33%. Finally, consider an awning for any windows facing south or west. Using a retractable awning in summer can reduce solar heat gain by 65% to 77%, keeping it cooler inside without using any energy at all!
These simple tips will help keep things cool this summer while saving you money. I hope this information is useful to you, and as always please feel free to share with your friends and family if you think it would be helpful to them too.
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