Try these easy wayS to increase your summer energy savings and save on air conditioning costs
Summer is in full swing, and everyone’s taking advantage of lots of time outside. Whether your sunny days are spent grilling, gardening, visiting the beach, or hanging by the pool, don’t let the heat increase your summer energy expenses.
How to Save Energy on Air Conditioning
According to the US Energy Information Administration, air conditioning costs make up about 12% of U.S. household energy bills. The cost for home cooling jumps in the summer months. Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can try to save energy on air conditioning – and lower your air conditioning costs while you’re at it.
Better WindowS Boost Energy Savings
Windows are the easiest place for the sun’s oppressive heat to enter your home – and older, inefficient windows let in tons of heat.
If you feel an uncomfortable amount of heat when standing next to your windows, it’s time to upgrade to windows with high-tech glass that reflects sunlight away from your home.
Performax54 windows are a great example. Their high-efficiency, Thermostat glass works with your home by reflecting the sun’s heat away from the house during the summer, lowering your dependence on the AC, and reducing your air conditioning costs. In the winter, this smart glass technology actually allows a small amount of heat to pass through the window for passive heating. Upgrading to energy-efficient windows with Thermostat glass helps with energy savings all year long!
Try Air Sealing to save energy on air conditioning
Eliminate Air Leaks. Remember when your dad used to say, “I’m not paying to cool the outside!” He had a point: Keeping windows and doors closed helps keep conditioned air inside, where it belongs.
But are you paying attention to other spots where hot summer air makes its way into in your home? A gap as small as 1/16-inch around a window is the same as having a brick-sized hole in the side of your house!
Take time to look for gaps, drafts, and “hot spots” that you can eliminate with a few easy steps.
- Use metal tape to seal holes in your AC ductwork so cool air doesn’t leak out of the ducts before it reaches the rooms in your home.
- Add weatherstripping around doors to seal the openings.
- Use spray foam insulation to fill gaps in exterior walls, like those around outdoor spigots or furnace venting.
What should My Summer Thermostat Settings Be?
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees during the day in the summer months. Does that sound high? Consider the energy savings! DOE says you can save as much as 10% annually on home cooling and heating bills by making thermostat adjustments (like raising the temperature in the summer) for 8 hours a day.
5 ways to Keep the House Cool Without AC
1. Install Programmable Thermostats. A programmable thermostat makes it so easy to raise your thermostat temperature, you might not notice it’s happening. With set-it-and-forget-it programming, just set the device to 78 degrees while your family is away at work or school, and you’ll start saving. Be sure to do the same when the family is on vacation and the house is empty!
Most programmable thermostats will let you add multiple setpoints everyday, so you can schedule your home to be at a comfortable temperature when you return. If you can’t make the jump to 78 degrees all at once, try making adjustments one degree at a time until you find the top of your comfort zone.
2. Switch Your Ceiling Fans. Most ceiling fans feature a switch to reverse the fan’s direction in the summer and winter. This is a great way to keep the house cool without AC, save energy on air conditioning, and lower your air conditioning costs.
In the summer, fans should run counterclockwise to provide a breeze for the people below. With the AC off and fans used wisely in occupied rooms, you’ll know you’re not paying to cool unused spaces.
3. Check Your Attic Insulation. While the summer sun is beating down, pay attention to the top of your house. Heat moves toward cold, so as your attic space heats up, make sure you have plenty of attic insulation in place. Attic insulation acts as a barrier between your 150-degree roof (yes, it gets that hot!) and your living space in the mid-70s. A quick survey of your attic insulation can help you spot where to improve the buffer between conditioned and unconditioned spaces, and boost your home comfort so your AC can take a break.
4. Plant Shady Landscaping. Investing in shade-providing landscaping around your home can help keep the summer sun at bay. Strategically placed shade trees also add curb appeal to your home, while knocking down some of that hot sunlight from entering your home in the first place.
Of course, shade trees can take time to grow in. Adding awnings, pergolas, porches and other structures can have the same effect faster.
Switch to LED Lighting. If you haven’t already made the switch from incandescent light bulbs, summer is the time to do it. Did you know an incandescent bulb’s primary output is actually heat, not light? It’s true! Reduce unnecessary heat brought into your home, and add to your energy savings, by replacing incandescent lightbulbs with fluorescent or LED bulbs.
Your home should be a comfortable place to get away from summer heat. And with these tips and tricks, you can feel confident that your budget for summer fun doesn’t get spent on your air conditioning costs.
Give ImproveIt a call today or fill out the form below to learn how we can help you save money on your energy bills all year long with new windows!