Potent Power Savings Tips For Warm Weather
The greater Atlanta area knows hazy, hot, and humid. During the spring and summer, the weather can become unbearable throughout many neighborhoods. The excessive heat can really drive up energy costs during the summer. To help, here are some power saving tips to implement now before the sizzling summer strikes!
In general, finding ways to increase ventilation throughout your home will have the most bang for your buck because proper airflow will naturally cool a home. Additionally, using common sense to manage the AC efficiently and during non-peak hours make the most impact on reducing energy bills.
For example, try to keep the difference between the inside and outside temperatures as small as possible (and comfortable). To help, avoid placing appliances, such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.
Also, the electric company charges different rates during different times of the day. Electrical companies charge less for energy consumed during off-peak hours, so try to wait until after 6 pm to cook, do laundry or wash dishes on days the temperature is over 90 degrees. Feel free to contact the local electrical company for more information on local peak hours.
Common Air Conditioner Problems
Homeowners should find a trustworthy and reliable HVAC technician with expertise in air conditioning because when the AC breaks. If there are any AC issues, you’ll want a quick and reliable service to restore the AC and keep your family cool.
On average, home cooling accounts for 6% of overall energy usage and can spike in the summer.
There are a variety of common AC problems that occur throughout the summer. To help, here is a quick overview of what to check and when to call a professional. After all, running an inefficient AC will impact the monthly utility costs.
Common Air Conditioner Checks:
- Refrigerant because it could be low or leaking. Call a trained technician to repair the leak and recharge the system.
- Sensor especially if you have a window unit because the thermostat sensor could be knocked out of position. Carefully bend the wire holding it in place to properly position it. If you don’t feel comfortable bending wires, then call a professional.
- Thermostat to make sure it is set properly and it is reading the correct temperature. Also, ensure the thermostat is working properly so check the batteries.
- AC drain to ensure it isn’t clogged.
- AC Filter because a clogged filter restricts airflow through the unit, decreasing its efficiency and reducing its ability to effectively cool the air.
- Ductwork because they could be clogged, constricted, or even leaking air. Call a professional to clean and air seal your ducts.
- Electronic Control Failure because the compressor and fan controls could be worn out from having your system turn off and on too frequently. Contact a professional to check your unit’s electrical connections.
Preventative Power Saving Solutions
We preach the power of preventative maintenance, and taking a proactive approach to managing rising energy costs during the summer is no different.
1. Remember the Insulation
Proper insulation works in all seasons because air seeps through cracks in the attic and interior home walls. To help prevent air from leaking into your home, attic insulation, along with sealing air ducts, which accounts for about 30% of a cooling system’s energy consumption.
2. Energy Efficient Windows
Window treatments, such as energy-efficient blinds, help reduce a home’s temperature if they are closed during the day and open at night.
3. Inspect the Air Conditioner
Find a qualified HVAC technician to inspect your AC system to ensure it is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible before temperatures really start to rise. Summer temperatures arrive. Also, have the tech provide a small training so you know how to clean air filters because this is essential to keeping the AC unit running smoothly during the summer.
4. High Efficiency Air Conditioners
According to the Department of Energy, high efficiency AC units can reduce air conditioning energy usage by 20-50% and regularly cleaning or replacing filters.
Power Savings Tips to Help Manage Interior Temps
There are some ways to help reduce your monthly energy bills by controlling the interior house temperature.
5. Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats can help save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs a year, so set the thermostat a few degrees higher during the day to prevent the cooling system to turn on when nobody is home.
6. Ceiling Fans Work
Don’t be afraid to use the ceiling fan in conjunction with the AC system because the fan will increase airflow and allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without impacting your comfort. Many energy experts recommend setting the thermostat to 78 degrees, so a ceiling fan will make the home feel much cooler.
7. Always Use the Bathroom Fan
Humidity is simply moisture in the air, so remember to use bathroom fans when taking a shower or bath because the fan removes heat and humidity from your home, which will make us feel cooler!
8. Close the Doors (and Vents)
Typically, we spend most of our time in the same space. A simple way to reduce energy costs is closing doors to adjacent rooms to avoid cooling unused areas of the house. If you have a spare bedroom (and no guests), then this is a great door to shut.
Power Savings Methods to Manage Appliances
Our home appliances, like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and hot water heaters, create a lot of heat that raises the home temperature. To help save on power during heat waves, then there are some steps to manage your appliances.
9. Cook Outside
The summer is synonymous with grills and barbecues. Using the oven will heat the kitchen and surrounding area, so a great option to save energy is cooking outside on the grill.
10. Program the Water Heater
Many home energy experts recommend setting the water heater temperature to 120ºF.
11. Keep the Fridge Full
The experts recommend keeping your refrigerator full during warm temperatures because having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. This helps prevent the fridge from working as hard and lowers energy consumption.
Power Saving Tips Outside the Home
We can also save energy costs by managing the outside of our homes. Here are a couple of things homeowners can do outside to control costs and reduce power usage.
12. Plant Shady Trees
As a long-term action, consider planting shady trees on the west and south sides of your home, which will protect your home from the sun.
13. Spend Time Outside
When the weather is hot and humid, we spend time inside to beat the heat. Naturally, this drives up our energy costs. To reduce electrical usage, then try to spend some time outside and enjoy the summer weather (even for short increments to give your AC a break during peak hours).
For more details on power savings tactics, then the Department of Energy provides some great resources and insight into ways to reduce your energy costs.
At Snappy Electric, Plumbing, Heating, & Air, we simply want to help homeowners enjoy their homes. If you have any questions or cooling issues, then don’t hesitate to call Snappy Electric, Plumbing, Heating, & Air - we are here 24/7 to help!