7 Helpful Tips for Saving Energy During Summer
Although many people don’t realize it, the summer weather in the Seattle, WA area can get pretty toasty. And the hotter it gets, the more you’ll want to have the air conditioning cranked way up to keep you and your family cool and comfortable. However, there’s no reason that you need to break the bank to pay for your energy bills this summer. If you’re proactive about it, there are various steps you can take to save energy without sacrificing your comfort or lifestyle. Most of the following measures are straightforward, but they can make a massive difference for your household when it comes to conserving energy and keeping the monthly bills at a reasonable level.
1. Cool Off With Ceiling Fans
If you’re constantly relying on your AC unit to stay comfortable throughout the entire summer, you’re probably going to be spending quite a bit on electricity. However, if you invest in ceiling fans for your home, you may be able to cool down while simultaneously saving money. Ceiling fans don’t require nearly as much energy to operate as HVAC systems, yet they can be very effective at keeping the air moving and preventing the temperature from rising too high. If you already have ceiling fans in your household, consider turning the AC down and relying on them once in a while. If you don’t currently have any ceiling fans, think about investing in one or two of them; they aren’t overly expensive, and the energy savings will help make up for the cost over time.
2. Schedule AC Maintenance
There’s nothing wrong with depending on your air conditioner during the scorching Seattle summer. However, if you’re going to be running your AC unit regularly, you’ll want it to be operating as efficiently as possible. One of the best ways to achieve this is to schedule a professional air conditioning tune-up. When you invest in this service for your AC unit, your hired HVAC technician will thoroughly clean your air conditioner and inspect the system for any problems. The cleaning will allow the appliance to circulate cool air more smoothly, which will help keep your energy bills in check. Plus, the professional inspection might uncover problems that are hampering the air conditioner’s performance or efficiency. Then, you can get those issues taken care of promptly and get your cooling system back on track.
If possible, you should schedule an AC tune-up at least once each year, and the beginning of the summer season is the perfect time to do it.
3. Seal Up Household Leaks
Although you might not realize that they’re there, it’s possible that your home’s windows and doorways are harboring air leaks. These leaks can be problematic for the energy efficiency of your AC unit because of the cool air that can frequently escape through them. When that conditioned air seeps out through little gaps and cracks, your air conditioner is forced to work harder to compensate for the loss. So, essentially, you have to choose between being uncomfortable or spending more money on your energy bills. However, if you take the time to periodically inspect for and seal leaks, you can avoid this problem.
It’s important to remember that even a tiny leak can make a difference in your cooling system’s efficiency. You’ll want to look thoroughly at the edges of your windows and doors; if you don’t see any openings, slowly move your hand around to feel for any moving air. If you’re able to find any leaks, you can use weather stripping and caulking from your local hardware store to tightly seal them.
4. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Over time, your HVAC system’s air filter will become packed with contaminants like dust, dirt, pollen, and dander. If that filter is overly dirty or blocked up when the summer heat arrives, it’s going to make it much harder for your air conditioner to do its job. The system will need to strain itself to achieve sufficient airflow, which will require significantly more energy being used. Additionally, a clogged air filter can have negative effects on your comfort and the longevity of your HVAC system. So, the beginning of the summer is an excellent time to switch your current HVAC filter out for a new one. However, you shouldn’t stop there.
If you want to keep your AC unit running smoothly and efficiently throughout the summer, you’ll want to regularly replace the filter. As a general rule, you should replace fiberglass filters every month and pleated filters every three months to keep the system functioning at peak performance and efficiency.
5. Install a Smart Thermostat
If you don’t already have a modern thermostat in your home, now is a great time to make a change. With a smart thermostat, you can greatly reduce the amount of energy being wasted in your household. For example, you can program the thermostat to automatically turn the AC off during the hours that you’re sleeping and away at work. Plus, the advanced system will be able to learn your patterns and routines to keep your living space at an ideal temperature while conserving as much electricity as possible. These are just a couple of the many benefits that a smart thermostat can bring to your Seattle area home, and purchasing one is an excellent choice if you’re looking to save energy this summer.
6. Close the Curtains and Blinds
Another effective way to save some energy this summer is to strategically utilize your home’s curtains and blinds. If you close your curtains and blinds on a day when the hot sun is shining into your house, you can keep your living space comfortable while also taking some pressure off your air conditioner. For one thing, the curtains will keep the heat from direct sunlight from increasing the temperature of your home. Additionally, the cool air from your AC unit won’t be able to escape through windows with the curtains and blinds closed, meaning you’ll be able to let your cooling system rest without getting sweaty and uncomfortable. Doing this for even a couple of days each week can help you save significant amounts of money on energy throughout the summer.
7. Clean Your Air Vents
Whenever you have your air conditioning cranked up this summer, that cool, conditioned air will be flowing from your home’s air vents. However, if those vents are packed with dust and dirt, it will be harder for your AC unit to move air through. That will cause the energy efficiency of the appliance to suffer, and it can also impact your comfort and worsen the quality of your indoor air. Before you start frequently using your cooling system, take some time to clean out all of the vents around your home. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the protective covers, and you can use a vacuum cleaner extension hose to do the cleaning.
At Brennan Electric, we’ve been proudly serving the greater Seattle area for over 30 years. We offer exceptional electrical services, including electrical panels, electrical repair, lighting installation, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We can also assist you with your surge protection and generator needs. Our electricians are highly trained, experienced, and ready to provide you with top-notch service. If you’d like to make an appointment, simply give our offices a call today.