Summer energy bills taking a toll on your wallet? The Department of Energy reports that about half the money you spend on energy costs during the summer goes toward cooling your home.
If you’d like to lower your utility bills, try some of these tips that will reduce your cooling load and cost little to nothing to do.
- Check the air filter for your air conditioner. Dirty air filters drive up your cooling costs because they slow the passage of air through your blower, which makes your whole system run longer and drives up your electric bills.
- Use your oven sparingly and if you do need to bake something, do it early in the morning or at night when it’s cooler. Slow cookers are a good way to cook in the summer, or you could use an outdoor barbecue. Microwaves do not create nearly the heat that your stove or oven does.
- Keep your refrigerator full, which helps it retain the cold air better than an empty one. Fill it with containers of water or flour if you don’t have enough food to fill it.
- Run your dishwasher when it’s full and let the dishes air dry instead of using the heating element.
- Seal the air leaks in your home, which can reduce summer energy bills. Look at the joints between the windows and the exterior. If you see cracks, seal them with exterior caulk. Daylight between an exterior door and its frame indicates that your weatherstripping needs replacing. Make sure that the fireplace flue is tightly closed to prevent updrafts or downdrafts. Sealing the ducts also reduces summer energy bills. If you have trouble accessing them, an HVAC contractor can help.
- Shade the windows. You can use shade screens outdoors to block nearly 90 percent of the sun’s heat coming indoors. Lined drapes also block the heat effectively, but just closing the blinds or curtains stops some of the heat gain, too.
If you’d like more information about trimming summer energy bills through HVAC maintenance, contact Smoky Mountain Heating & Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Asheville, North Carolina and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about lowering energy bills and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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