Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 25, 2015

Tips for Saving Energy in the Summer

Here are some tips for saving energy (and money) from some folks in Arizona:

Cut the Cooling Load, Save Energy

With record temperatures and stifling heat indexes this summer, a cool, comfortable home can be a haven from the heat. But being cool comes with a cost. One of the best ways homeowners can save energy — and thus, have lower energy bills — at home is to cut the energy load:

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Avoid using heat-generating appliances, such as your oven or clothes dryer, on hot days. Use these appliances at night when the weather cools down.
  • Hang clothing to dry when possible. If you do use a clothes dryer, make sure it is vented outdoors.
  • Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees when you’re home.
  • Use ceiling fans and room fans to produce cooling air movement. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers program, ceiling fans can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler. Combine that with room fans and you’ll feel even cooler.
  • Set your air conditioner to 85 degrees when you’re away, or turn it off. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can do this automatically and have the AC kick in shortly before your expected return so you’ll be coming home to comfort. A programmable thermostat is a great energy-saver in its own right; you never have to worry about forgetting to change the thermostat when you leave. A smart thermostat is a step further, with additional benefits like remote access, through which you can change your settings on the fly via an Internet connection on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.
  • Close curtains on sun-facing windows on hot days.
  • Install Energy Star-rated windows for the best energy efficiency.
  • Install window awnings to provide shade.
  • Use high-reflectivity window films to help stop home hat gain. These are good for climates that have long cooling seasons as they block solar heat all year. Fabric sun screens can block 65-70 percent of solar heat.
  • Plant trees for shade on the west and southwest sides of your house.
  • Check for air leaks around windows and doors. Seal leaks with caulk or weatherstripping to avoid warm air sneaking in during the summer and cold air doing the same in the winter.
  • Inspect ductwork for leaks. Leaks should be sealed with Mastic-type sealant or metal tape. While some homeowners will tackle this job, many prefer to go with a professional HVAC contractor, who can do a professional inspection, including into areas that are difficult to reach, and professionally seal leaks. A contractor can also repair ducts as well as insulate ducts that pass through areas that do not receive conditioned air, such as crawl spaces, attics and garages.
  • Have a professional HVAC contractor provide annual preventive maintenance. This will keep your cooling system efficient and in good repair while extending its life. Annual HVAC service can pay for itself in lower cooling bills and lower repair costs.

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