It’s hot outside which means that it’s time to start thinking about keeping your home cool and your bill low. Follow these five easy tips from AVECC Energy Auditor Wendy Kozeny to help keep your home comfortable this summer.
Curb daytime use of heat -generating appliances. While AVECC does not have peak rates, heating the house with the dryer, oven and stove will cause the AC to work harder and longer, causing the electric bill to go up. If you must use these appliances, use them on cloudy days or after dusk when the AC doesn’t have to work so hard to cool the house. Also, consider using a Solar Powered Clothes Dryer (an old-fashioned clothesline).
Keep the thermostat at 78°. Use ceiling fans, for rooms to feel cooler. For each degree warmer, there is a 3% reduction on your bill. Also, set the thermostat and forget it. The AC works harder when we adjust it throughout the day.
Block out the sun. The sun’s rays are hot and can heat a room 10° or more (Passive Solar Heat). While we want this free heat in the winter months, we want to block it in the summer months. Black-out curtains are easy and more affordable than other options.
Clean AC fans with an eco-cleaner (available at hardware stores). Do this in the spring to remove pollen and dust, especially after mowing the lawn to remove grass clippings. Then, get a tune-up every 3-5 years to keep the AC running like new (efficiently).
Keep your vents clear. The AC won’t be very effective if the cold air can’t enter the room. Also, the AC will work harder (increasing the bill) trying to force air through a blocked vent.
-Wendy Kozeny is a Member Services Representative and Energy Auditor based in the Van Buren Office.