Tips to Slash Utility Bills Amid Record Heat
Photo via iStock.com.
Much of the U.S. has been experiencing record heat this summer and with air conditioning accounting for almost half of a home's energy use, homeowners have been lowering their thermostats and subsequently raising their utility bills.
In an effort to educate consumers and fuel substantial savings, Aire Serv, a Neighborly company that provides installation, maintenance and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and indoor air quality systems, is sharing little-known tips to help slash electric bills without sacrificing comfort in the home.
"There are many misconceptions when it comes to energy usage in the home," said Steve Truett, president of Aire Serv. "Most homeowners don't realize that air conditioning accounts for a significant part of a home's electric bill, so if you're not using your system efficiently, you're bound to see an increase in your monthly spending. That's why Aire Serv stresses the importance of routine maintenance by professionals to extend the shelf life of your unit and ensure it's working both efficiently and effectively."
When thinking about ways to save, Truett recommends keeping an eye on energy-sucking culprits that are racking up homeowners' utility bills without them knowing, such as dirty air filters. Other considerations to keep in mind when managing your HVAC unit:
Clean or replace air filters for the best air distribution from registers and vents and maximize cooling capacity and performance
Keep outdoor unit clean and free of debris, grass clippings, bushes and shrubs to maximize airflow and performance
Ceiling fans create a wind chill effect, allowing you to adjust thermostat settings by 4-7 degrees Fahrenheit, for up to 30 percent savings and still remain comfortable. Ensure savings by verifying a counterclockwise motion during the summer months, and turning off fans when you leave the room.
Walls, windows and attics must be properly insulated; otherwise a home's temperature will be much harder to control. Make sure to check your insulation and caulk any gaps in the seals.
Blocked or closed vents can make AC units work harder than they should, as they don't allow for proper airflow. The unit will continue to run but the rooms won't cool. Always unblock and open all vents and registers before running the AC unit.
Install a programmable thermostat to control the temperature of the home from a mobile device. Adjusting the temperature while you're out can significantly reduce the utility bill.
Read more about home heating and air conditioning.