It’s enough of a hassle to deal with the summer heat when you’re outside or getting into your car after it’s been in the sun. You shouldn’t also have to feel the wrath of the high temperatures when you open your energy bills every month. But how do you keep those bills under control without setting your thermostat so high that you’re sweating when sitting at home?
The most effective way to lower your energy costs is to upgrade to a high-efficiency air conditioner, but that isn’t always an option. If you’re looking for a quicker, more affordable shortcut to savings, try some of these ideas:
- The two-week rule – Stop reading this for a minute and go raise the temperature on your thermostat by one degree. Give your family two weeks to get used to the new temperature and then repeat the process until you reach 78 degrees.
- Opt for the microwave – Microwaves use about one-third of the energy an oven/stove would use to heat the same item. The oven/stove runs longer and sends heat into your home, which means the air conditioner has to run longer.
- Use the dishwasher – It may come as a surprise, but washing dishes by hand consumes more water and energy than the typical dishwasher. You can also turn off the heated dry cycle and let dishes air dry.
- Stock the refrigerator – This may also sound counter-intuitive, but the fuller the fridge is, the less cool air escapes when the door is opened. Go ahead and splurge at the grocery store because it will keep you from wasting money eating out and lower your energy costs.
- Wash large loads – Washing larger loads of clothes means you will not have to run the washing machine and dryer as often. Also, consider washing your clothes with cold water. Most modern detergents don’t need hot water to do the job.
- Cut back every time you leave – Make it a habit. Turn off all electronics and other energy-consuming devices, then raise your thermostat to 85 degrees every time the house is empty.
For more tips and creative ways to slash energy costs, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve been helping Metro-East homeowners save money since 1951.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy costs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.