As temperatures rise and warmer weather sets in, you’ll immediately want to turn your air conditioners on lower temperatures to cool down your homes and beat the sweltering summer heat.
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) has been identified as having the most significant impact on energy consumption – and in fact, approximately 43% of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. While cutting costs through greater energy efficiency is a year-round feat for many, achieving this goal varies by season. Making smart decisions about your home’s HVAC system can have a huge impact on your utility bills – and your comfort.
The first step to achieving greater energy efficiency is by understanding more about home energy use. Union Power offers several ways for you to learn more about your energy use so that you can make informed energy decisions.
You can learn more about our services by visiting the Energy Center to understand the factors that influence your daily energy usage and to track it with online tools. Also, consider using our Pre-Pay program to pay for your electricity in advance; this will allow you to monitor your consumption and manage your energy through text/email alerts.
Here are some additional steps to consider:
- To offset the work your home cooling system has to do to bridge the gap between high outdoor temperatures and low thermostat settings, set your thermostat as high as you can without compromising your comfort level.
- Use a fan, particularly a ceiling fan, in conjunction with your air conditioner. Using a ceiling fan will allow you to increase the thermostat setting approximately four degrees with no reduction in comfort levels. You can set ceiling fans to blow air downward instead of pulling warmer air upward to get the most value (blades should turn counterclockwise). Also, be sure to turn off fans when you leave a room.
- Turn off lights and appliances or even switch to energy-efficient bulbs like LEDs. You can also take it a step further by plugging appliances like televisions, computers, and lamps into power strips. When not in use, turn off the power strip to eliminate phantom load.
- Close blinds, shades, and curtains – especially on windows that pull in direct sunlight and heat from outside.
- Run major appliances like dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers early in the morning, late evening or overnight, during off-peak hours to avoid circulating heat generated from the appliances during the hottest part of the day.
- Replace dirty air filters routinely to increase the efficiency of your HVAC system and improve airflow/quality.