Summertime can be one of the most expensive seasons of the year for Floridians, especially when cranking the AC during extreme heat waves.
The Aitken Home Team
presents five steps to summer energy savings:
1. - Change those filters!
Clean filters are paramount when running a central air conditioning system smoothly and efficiently. Be sure to check your AC filter to make sure it is clean as a soiled filter does not allow for consistent airflow, thus drastically effecting the
efficiency of your AC system. You can expect to reduce AC energy fees by as much as fifteen percent when maintaining a clean AC filter.
Keep in mind that some AC filters are reusable. Other systems require consistent filter replacement, especially for homes containing pets or heavy amounts of dust. Consult your AC manual to find out whether you have a reusable filter versus
one which needs to be replaced regularly.
2. - Check your insulation!
Insulation is most often associated with keeping a home warm during colder months. However, insulation also serves to keep a hot house cooler during summer months and can lower cooling costs by as high as twenty percent.
Perhaps your budget only allows for insulation in one particular place. If that is the case, put your cash into the attic. Attic temps can reach 140+ degrees in warmer seasons and such heat will seep into the lower levels of your
home. Proper insulation can stop that heat flow and keep your home cooler.
3. - Invest in window treatments!
While window covering such as blinds don't eliminate air leaks, they can still help save you money. In fact, solar heat can be eliminated by up to sixty-five percent in the summer via awnings on windows facing
south and as high as seventy-seven percent of windows facing west. Adjustable or retractable awnings might be just the solution your home requires in order to keep a cooler environment in the summer and a warm, toasty home in the winter.
While interior blinds have no authority over heat, their adjustable slats are of benefit when controlling ventilation and light. Keeping your blinds closed on a hot day can reduce heat by as much as 45%. If you are looking for a more aesthetically
pleasing solution, medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33 percent.
4. - Purchase a smart thermostat!
You might find this odd, however the less difference between outdoor and indoor temps, the lower the cooling bill. In other words, try to set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature possible and
note that programmable thermostats can save high energy amounts. If you find this process tedious, invest in The Nest
. This $250 programmable thermostat features a simple dial that allows you
to set the temperature you want and is "smart" enough to learn your schedule as it goes. The Nest tracks habits and adjusts itself to a program that works for you and can be operated via smartphone or laptop.
5. - If you're not using it, turn it off! If you don't need it, unplug it!
Did you know you could be wasting as much as $100 annually by leaving items plugged in which you don't use? Your computer, for starters, can account for two to
three percent of your overall household/office energy use. While sleep mode can help, you would be wise to unplug it or invent in a Smart Strip
which senses inactivity
and then shuts off power. In addition, unplug extra refrigerators or freezers that may be empty or are cooling an old jar of pickles, especially pre-1993 models as they eat up twice as much energy.