Sunlight escorts you late into the evening. The kids count down the days until vacation. And the mercury rises. All the signs of summer are upon you, and as much you love summer, you probably dread those high energy bills that tend to tag along with the season.
Here are some great tips from AiRCO to help you stay cool in Austin, while saving money for vacation instead of power bills.
If you’re on the cutting edge of smart home technology, you can easily rely on a smart thermostat to help you cool down the house only when you are there, or right before you arrive home. Most smart gadgets can be controlled remotely or programmed automatically to save energy when you’re at work or enjoying the air conditioning at a friend’s house or in a local restaurant.
Even old-fashioned thermostats can still be programmed to turn on and off at particular hours. Set them to cool down your home before you arrive home from work and let them climb higher when you leave. Remember that every degree above 72 degrees Fahrenheit saves you 3 percent of your energy cost.
Investing in quality window coverings that block out the sun, especially from southern windows, can help you trap the cooler night air inside for longer. If you’re looking at long-term solutions, consider planting some large trees to shade your Texas home in the future or replacing your windows with ones that are sealed and designed for increased energy efficiency.
When you have a nice breeze or cooler nights, open your windows to invite the cooler air in to freshen your home and reduce the indoor temperature. Using portable fans or even installing a whole-house fan can help you pull and circulate that cooler air more effectively.
It’s something you notice much more acutely in the summer: you generate a fair amount of indoor heat yourself. Whether it’s cooking, drying clothes, using lights, or operating electronics, you’re adding to the warmth with modern appliances. Here are some ideas to reduce this heat:
• Switch to LED lightbulbs. According to Pennsylvania State University’s Materials Research Science & Engineering Centers (MRSEC), incandescent light bulbs convert 90 percent of their energy into heat; LED bulbs create about half as much. They also use three-fourths of the total energy, helping you to reduce those bills.
• Cook outside. Barbecuing dinner is not only a well-loved summer tradition for many, it also keeps all that cooking heat out of your kitchen. Combine those grilled meals with cool salads and fruits for a delicious outdoor meal.
• Wash with cold water and dry outside. If you run your washing machine on hot, you’re using a tremendous amount of energy. The dryer also consumes a great deal of energy and heats up your home. Try to wash with cold or warm water, and line dry at least items like towels, sheets, and larger items outside.
• Track electronic equipment. First, try to turn off anything you’re not using. That includes lights, televisions, computers, and entertainment equipment, all of which generate heat by simply being on. Second, be sure your thermostat is not near any heat-generating appliances or electronics, or it may misread the actual temperature and crank up the air conditioning unnecessarily.
Before the hot weather really sets in, call our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals to come out and tune up your air conditioner. Simple things like cleaning the system, conducting preventive maintenance tasks, and checking coolant levels can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning greatly.
In addition, if you have an older unit that’s requiring more repairs lately, you may want to consider investing in a new air conditioner. New units are always more energy efficient than old ones, and you can offset some of the costs of a new unit with this energy savings.
While our HVAC professionals are on your property, have them check your vents and ductwork as well as inspect for insulation or leakage problems to be sure your cold air is getting where you want it to go efficiently. Many companies offer an energy audit so you can discover your biggest energy-wasting culprits and then work to eliminate them.
Contact our trained and experienced professionals at AiRCO Heating and Cooling in Austin Texas, for more information on how you can save energy this summer. Give us a call at 512-537-1234 or contact us online today.