With temperatures soaring and the cost of electricity on the rise, it is important to ensure that your next bill doesn’t knock you for a loop.
The United States Energy Information Administration forecasts that the average U.S. residential electricity customer will spend 4.8% (15.3% in New England) more during the upcoming summer months than during the same period last year. Air conditioning is expected to account for up to 43% of your monthly utility bill.
Here are a few ways to cut down on your bill this season
Plant leafy trees
Most heat that accumulates inside a house comes directly from the sun shining onto the roof or through windows. Planting leafy trees around the building’s exterior will stop the sun from reaching inside your home.
If the trees or shrubs shade your air conditioner, you could boost your AC’s efficiency by up to 10%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Install Solar Screens
Solar screens, or mesh-like window screens, intercept up to 70% of solar energy before it gets into the house. Window screens are particularly effective on east- and west-facing windows.
Raise the temperature setting while away from home
You can save 5 -15% on your air-conditioning bills by raising the temperature setting on your thermostat when you’re away and don’t need cooling.
Circulate the cool air
Fans are a remarkably effective way to cool portions of the house your air conditioner may not effectively reach. While they don’t cool the air, but they do move it around. If you have ceiling fans, make sure they are running counter-clockwise to push hot air up and out.
Moving air also helps evaporate moisture on the skin, making you feel cooler.
Maintain or replace your AC
If you have an AC in good working order, make sure to replace the air filters frequently to make it as efficient as possible and maintain proper air flow. Make sure to keep vents open and clean.
If you replace your older room air conditioner with a newer unit, you could cut your energy costs in half, according to the Department of Energy. Look for a high-energy-efficiency ratio (EER) or an Energy Star-qualified unit. Higher EER ratings mean a more efficient air conditioner.
How do you plan to beat the heat this summer without breaking the bank?