Homeowners know the pain of utility bill spikes during the summer season. This outcome is understandable since your air conditioning unit is almost always turned on. The cooler temperatures of non-stop air conditioning are comfortable, but the fat power bill is not. To help manage the heat and the accompanying increase in power usage, here are some doable tips that you can consider.
1. Gone with the old, in with the new… appliances – It is about time to check your home appliances, especially your air-conditioning unit and refrigerator. Those two appliances are the largest consumers of energy inside your home. If you air conditioner or refrigerator are more than a decade old it is time for an upgrade. Older appliance models are usually not energy efficient. New appliances may require an initial investment, but they will save you more money in the long run. While you are at it, you may want to consider buying more energy-saving appliances throughout the home (dishwasher, clothes washer, etc.).
2. Turn off the lights and turn-on your creativity – When night falls, make sure that lights are not on unnecessarily. Lighting up the whole house does not make sense if you are occupying only one room. You can also be more creative and do candle-lit dinners at least once a week or have family games and activities where you turn out the lights for the activities at hand.
3. Keep your air conditioning unit in good condition – If the air filter of your air conditioning unit is dirty its efficiency is greatly reduced; which means it will work harder (thus needing more electricity). Make sure that you regularly clean your air filter to maximize air flow and minimize energy consumption.
4. Use fans more – While air-conditioned rooms feel amazing, using overhead fans to circulate the air may be able to maintain that cozy temperature but at a much lower rate of energy consumption. Or, on fair temperature days, avoid the a/c altogether by opening up your windows to let cool air in. Not only will you get free cool temperatures but you will enjoy the fresh air.
5. Make sure you unplug all devices that are not in use – A common mistake that a lot of households make is leaving all devices or appliances plugged in. While it may not be immediately obvious, these devices are still using electricity (“phantom draw”) for as long as they are plugged into a power outlet. On available surge protectors, turn off the switch to kill all power or unplug solo devices that you can.