Chill Out on Summer Energy Bills
Summer is a season when homes can use lots of energy if homeowners aren’t careful. Extremely hot temperatures tend to stress air conditioning units and other appliances, driving up electric bills.
Fortunately, South Alabama Electric Cooperative members can invest a little time, energy and money to generate major savings. Following these tips from the U.S. Department of Energy will help ensure families have enough spending money to enjoy their vacations.
- Set thermostats as high as comfortably possible. A good target is 78 degrees when you are at home. Programmable thermostats can ensure energy efficiency while you are away from home.
- Use ceiling fans, which can help rooms feel comfortable even if the air is set at 4 degrees higher than normal.
- Use bathroom suction fans to remove heat and humidity during showers.
- Suction fans can also benefit kitchens and utility rooms, where appliances like ovens and dryers generate heat. Make sure that fans vent the hot air to the exterior of the home and not to the attic.
- Conduct regular maintenance of the climate-control system.
- Do not place TV sets or lamps near thermostats. The heat these items produce can trigger the air conditioning system to run longer than necessary.
- Vacuum the registers for heating, ventilation and air conditioning regularly to improve the unit’s efficiency.
OTHER GENERAL TIPS
- Avoid using the oven during peak heat times. Grilling outside reduces heat inside.
- Upgrade to more efficient lighting options such as LED or CFL, which burn cooler than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Wait to wash dishes and laundry until there’s a full load to be done. Consider air drying as an option.
- About 76% of the sunlight that hits a standard double-pane window becomes heat energy inside. Storm windows with low-e coatings reduce the solar heat gain by reflecting the heat outward, resulting in energy savings of up to 33%.
- Keep coverings, like blinds, closed to reduce heat gain, especially on windows receiving direct sunlight.
- Seal cracks around windows and doors to prevent hot air from seeping into the home.
- Open curtains and blinds that aren’t in direct sunlight to utilize natural light and reduce the need for artificial light.