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Improve Energy Efficiency With These Eight Summer Tips
Summer energy bills can be surprisingly high – especially if you’re constantly running your air conditioner, which is responsible for about half those bills. The good news, if you’re a conscientious energy user, is that there are easy ways to reduce those numbers.
Here are eight energy-saving tips to get you started.
Check air filters regularly – A clogged air filter can reduce A/C efficiency by 10 to 15 percent, and you’ll pay for that on your energy bill – not to mention later, in the form of preventable repairs for your equipment.
Inspect your ductwork – Look for obvious air leaks in visible ducts, especially around seals between sections. Since most of your ductwork is behind the walls, consider investing in a professional duct inspection about once every five years.
Drop your water thermostat temperature – The default temperature of water heater thermostats is often set unnecessarily high – typically 140°F, when 120°F will do. That simple change will save you 10 to 15 percent on your water heating bill.
Use your programmable thermostat – With a central air conditioner, every degree you drop your thermostat below 75 degrees will cost you anywhere from three to five percent more energy. For the best balance of comfort and cost, aim for an indoor temperature of 78 degrees on hot days – then use your programmable or smart thermostat to adjust temperatures when you’re sleeping or away from home.
Change your window treatments – The greenhouse effect is alive and well in your house: about 75 percent of the energy that enters your house as sunlight stays as heat. In the hot summer months, consider hanging window treatments that reflect rather than absorb light and heat (for more efficiency tips using window treatments, see the U.S. Department of Energy website).
Keep air flowing – Air circulation is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of energy efficiency, since it helps keep you cool while also keeping humidity under control. Keep air moving throughout your home by:
Clearing vents of blockages, such as furniture, rugs or drapes.
Installing an attic ventilation fan to remove rising hot air from your home.
Supplementing your A/C with ceiling fans (moving air feels cooler, so you’ll be able to keep temperatures a little warmer with no loss in comfort).
Adding supplemental air conditioners to particularly hard-to-cool rooms to take pressure off your central A/C.
Service your air conditioner – Your cooling equipment will lose about five percent efficiency every year that it’s not serviced – which means that professional cooling maintenance will virtually pay for itself in the form of lower cooling bills alone. It will also help keep your A/C running more reliably under stress.
Replace older equipment – Your central air conditioner loses efficiency over the years, to the point where a 10-year-old unit could be running with an efficiency rating 25 or 30 percent lower than a new A/C. That lost energy adds up quickly! If you’re faced with a fix it or replace it dilemma on a 10+ year-old air conditioner, we strongly suggest you lean toward the latter – especially if the repair is significant.
Summer’s in full swing – is your air conditioner ready for all the heat that’s coming our way? If it isn’t, contact Bottini Fuels today to schedule air conditioning maintenance from Bottini Fuels. If your cooling system breaks down, We’ve Got You Covered™ with expert repair and air conditioner installation service in the Hudson Valley!