How to Cut Electric Bill in Half
Summer brings intense heat and humidity to the South. It's no surprise that energy bills rise as homeowners use their cooling system to stay comfortable. In fact, everything from cooking to lighting your home can increase the electricity you use. Here's how to cut electric bill in half without sacrificing comfort this summer.
Cut Electric Bill with Efficient HVAC Equipment
Leaking ductwork may account for 20 percent of energy costs in your home, according to the Energy Star. With air conditioners being asked to run more and more, those leaks can equal a great deal of money wasted. Schedule a visit by an HVAC technician to have ducts sealed and cooling equipment tuned for the high season. During this visit, you will get filters changed and have the system made ready for efficient operation all summer long.
Another tool for cutting your electric bill in half is a programmable thermostat. These devices turn off your cooling system when you are not home and adjust the temperature while you are sleeping. This saves you as much as 10 percent on your electricity bill. Set the low temperature at 78°F. While that point may not seem cool enough for comfort, properly placed ceiling fans can add about 4ºF coolness to make the room comfortable. Use fans if you're wondering how to lower electric bill this summer.
Light and Heat
Cooking devices and lighting make your home feel warmer. This, in turn, makes your HVAC system work harder and your energy bills rise. According to the Department of Energy, incandescent lights use about 85 percent of the electricity they need to make heat rather than light. Considering the amount of money you save when you replace bulbs with LED lights, this move is the fastest efficiency upgrade you can make. To keep sunlight from heating your home, consider window treatments and shades that keep the hot, bright rays from penetrating your home's cool atmosphere.
In terms of cooking, a microwave uses 66 percent less energy than a traditional stove while keeping your kitchen cooler than an electric range. This appliance is the choice of summer.
Upgrading Old HVAC Equipment
Even when you have low-energy light bulbs, fans and sealed ducts, you may be able to save up to 20 percent on electric bills when you upgrade your air-conditioning system. In addition, ENERGY STAR refrigerators can save you as much as 3 percent on energy bills, and using an efficient dishwasher can save you even more.
Of course, there is no point wondering how to lower electric bill costs this summer without targeting the biggest user of energy in a home: the water heater. By supplying hot water to your bathrooms and washing machines, 14 to 25 percent of a family's entire energy use can come from a water heater. Make sure yours is set below 120°F for comfortable showers and greater efficiency.
For an ever better plan, upgrade to a tankless water heater to save up to $100 per year, or $2,000 over the life of the heater. Tankless models no longer have the prohibitive upfront costs and make good investments for every household.
Between simple light bulb changes and appliance upgrades, every homeowner has the opportunity to spend less on energy this summer than in years past. Call Reliable Heating & Air for AC tuneups to make sure your system is ready all summer long.