Summer-Proof Your Home
Each year, Americans spend over $11 billion just to power air conditioners in their homes. That is a lot of money! Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to chip away at that annual cooling cost. Spring is a good time to get a head start on improving your home before summer really heats up. Here are six tips from the U.S. Department of Energy to help you lower your cooling bill.
- Change That Filter
Routinely replacing the air filter in your central unit can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15%, according to the Department of Energy. If you want to save additional money over the long term and reduce waste, consider investing in a reusable filter you can clean at home if one is available for your unit.
- Install A Programmable Thermostat
Are you cooling a house at normal room temperature even when nobody is home? Consider installing a programmable thermostat with cooling cycles that adapt to your working and sleeping patterns. You could save up to 10% per year on heating and cooling costs.
- Use A Ceiling Fan
Studies have shown that people can achieve the same level of comfort with a thermostat set four degrees higher if they have a ceiling fan helping them cool off. If you’ve got a fan, put it to good use!
- Insulate That Attic
Does your attic have adequate insulation? There are several different types of attic insulation available. Every insulation has an R-rating. The higher the R-rating, the better the insulating properties. In the long-term, investing in replacing your attic insulation material could pay for itself and then some.
- Seal Air Ducts
Air loss through ducts accounts for a whopping 30% of an A/C unit’s energy consumption. Inspect your air ducts and make sure they’re tightly fitted, sealed, and properly insulated. Or hire a pro to do it for you.
- Curtains For You
Don’t settle for conventional curtains. Insulated curtains help block a lot of heat coming in through windows. They are inexpensive, easy to find, and come in a wide variety of textures, patterns, and colors. You could give a room an aesthetic makeover and save money with insulated curtains. It’s like buying yourself two gifts in one.
By using these tips, you could help reduce the anxiety and dread that comes from opening your power bill to see how big the number is going to be. There are many more things you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home. For more tips, visit www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat-and-cool