With everyone spending more time at home these days, your energy bills may be higher. After all, your family may be watching TV, browsing the internet on their laptops, charging their phones/tablets/other electronic devices, and playing video games. And your AC may be running nearly non-stop in order to keep your home cool and comfortable.
With all this energy use, it’s no surprise that you’re spending what feels like a small fortune each month just to keep the electricity running. Fortunately, there are a few minor adjustments your family can make to help cut back on energy use, and this ultimately will lead to more green staying in your wallet.
Get your AC tuned up!
First and foremost, we cannot stress enough how important it is to get your air conditioner maintained by a professional at least once each year. The trained technician sent to your home will carefully inspect all parts of your cooling system to be sure it’s clean, free of any buildup, and running efficiently. Additionally, a technician can detect many problems and treat them before they result in a breakdown of your unit — costing you more money that you don’t want to spend!
Failure to keep up with annual air conditioner maintenance could mean the difference between a clean-running, efficient AC that can keep your family comfortable, and one that is clogged with dust, runs constantly, and uses more electricity.
Along with routine maintenance for your system, keep track of how often you’re replacing your air filter. The filter should be replaced at least once a month during peak cooling season. Your filter traps dirt, dust, and other pollutants, preventing them from reaching the air your family breathes. If you don’t change the filter regularly, your AC has to work harder to push cool air through it. This can lead to premature wear and tear on your unit, and poor indoor air quality.
Wash your clothes in cold or warm water
Rather than using hot water for your laundry, consider using cold or warm water as an alternative. Many homeowners don’t realize that most of the energy used when washing clothes comes from heating the water. Also, once your clothes are washed, consider drying them outside instead of using your dryer. This won’t just cut back on your energy use since you aren’t powering up the dryer, but it will also help to keep your home cooler since dryers put out a lot of heat.
Switch out your lighting.
If you’re still using incandescent or halogen light bulbs around your home, now is the perfect time to get them swapped out with newer, more efficient styles. Consider using LED bulbs. They generate less heat and use less energy when compared to other lighting styles. These bulbs also tend to have a longer lifespan than other comparable varieties.
Be mindful of your electronics.
Love to fall asleep watching TV? Leaving your TV on uses extra electricity, especially if you don’t have a sleep timer set and the appliance runs for hours on end without anyone watching it. Instead, if you feel yourself about to fall asleep, shut the TV off. Your favorite binge-worthy shows will still be around the next day.
Also, many of us tend to leave our laptops, cell phones, tablets, and handheld gaming devices constantly plugged in and charging. This can waste energy, generate heat, and also have a damaging effect on the batteries in these devices.
Only charge these items when necessary, and try to not charge them at night when you may fall asleep and forget they’re plugged in.
Use a programmable thermostat.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat installed? You could be wasting energy. When you have a programmable unit installed, you can set your home to be a few degrees warmer during summer days when your family may not be home to enjoy the cool comfort provided by your AC. You can also set the unit to lower a few degrees before you’re expecting to be back home. Many homeowners don’t realize that adjusting their home’s temperature by just a few degrees each day could help them cut back on their energy use.
Keep your windows covered.
You may enjoy looking outside throughout the day to see what’s happening, but exposure to the sun’s hot rays could be significantly raising the temperature inside your home during the day. Instead, keep your curtains and blinds closed during the hottest parts of the day so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work overtime to keep your family comfortable.