It’s starting to heat up, and your energy bills might rise as you crank up the air conditioner. We’ve got six tips to help you stay cool while saving energy this summer.
1. Make sure your ceiling fans are rotating in the proper direction.
When possible, use ceiling fans to cool down instead of relying on the air conditioner. In spring and summer the blades should rotate counter-clockwise. This produces a downward wind that creates a cooling sensation in the air below. Most fans have a direction control switch on the cylinder located in the center of the blades. Since fans only create a cooling feeling and don’t cool air temperatures, remember to turn them off when leaving a room to save extra energy.
2. Set your thermostat (or upgrade to a smart one).
Try setting your thermostat higher when you are away or sleeping to cut back on energy use and costs. You can save up to 10 percent a year on cooling by raising your thermostat 7°-10°F for eight hours a day. Smart thermostats learn your patterns and adjust accordingly, and we offer a$50 rebate when you make the switch.
3. Use caulk or weather-stripping to keep the hot air out
Sealing your home from outside warm weather helps maintain a cooler temperature inside. The two main methods of sealing cracks are caulking and weather-stripping. Caulking is used for stationary cracks around the home. Parts of your house that can move but still need sealing, such as windows or doors, can be secured with weather-stripping. These are two easy DIY home projects.
4. Clean or replace air filters.
Perform routine maintenance on your HVAC system. Regularly clean or replace air filters to avoid issues with airflow or clogs from dust and debris. Air conditioner coils – an evaporator coil and a condenser coil – also need to be cleaned regularly. If the unit is outdoors, seal cracks to prevent additional dirt from entering. Sealing these also makes your machine run more efficiently.
5. Upgrade to energy-efficient LEDs
LEDs are one of the smartest energy efficiency upgrades you can make around your home. LEDs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They are also safer to have in the home and less of a fire hazard since they don’t rely on heat.
6. Adjust your window coverings to keep cool
During the day, the sun’s rays warm up everything they touch. You can keep this unwanted heat out with shades, blinds, curtains or window films. Plant trees or tall shrubs outside to provide a source of natural shade for windows. If temperatures drop at night, you can open your windows when sleeping for an air conditioning alternative and close them in the morning to trap the cool air inside.
Small changes today can lead to long-term savings in the future. Get more efficiency tips at csu.org.