Looking for ways to save energy while staying cool this summer? It’s no surprise that cooling a home consumes a lot of energy and leads to higher energy bills as a result. In an average household in the U.S., it’s estimated that heating and cooling consume half of all energy used. Rather than sweating the summer away in order to save energy and cut costs, here are some ways to increase cooling efficiency while keeping comfortable:
1. Practice System Maintenance
Just like a car, if you don’t take routine care of your cooling system, the chances of it acting up or breaking down are much greater. It’s a good idea to get an AC tune-up once a year and to regularly change the air filter as part of system maintenance. Keeping your air conditioner clear of dirt and debris will help it to perform the way it’s supposed to and avoid malfunctioning.
2. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are designed for energy efficiency by strategically adjusting your home’s temperature based on your personal schedule. Rather than remaining in the same setting all of the time, temperatures adjust according to when you’re home and away. In the summer, raising the temperature by several degrees for several hours each day can contribute to notable energy savings. So, while you’re at work during the week or asleep, for instance, your programmable thermostat will keep you comfortable and save energy- about 1% for each degree that’s raised.
3. Upgrade Cooling Equipment
If your central air conditioner is at least ten years old, or if it frequently needs repairs and performs inefficiently, then it may be time to upgrade. New air conditioners, ranging from mid to high efficiency, have a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) than old, outdated systems. When it’s time to upgrade, a new system will perform better, save more energy, and, with proper maintenance, last for a long time, thus helping you to cut cooling costs both short and long term.
For more tips on energy efficient cooling, visit: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac