20 Tips to Help You Conserve Energy and Save You Money
With the high cost of electricity we all need to do what we can to conserve energy. Here are a few tips you can use to help save energy for your home.
1) Have your system serviced by a licensed professional Air Conditioning Technician. This will usually save you much more in energy than what it costs you. An air conditioning system that is 1 pound low on refrigerant can cost you 15-20% on your cooling bill. How to Become a Priority Customer
2) Install an AC-Enhancer. This will save you money on your cooling bill and will make your home more comfortable. For More Information Click Here!
3) Set your thermostat at the warmest temperature you can be comfortable at. At 75 degrees each degree warmer that you set your home can save 5 to 8% on your cooling bill. But be careful, setting the temperature too high can increase short cycling and could drive your bill higher. See the information about The AC-Enhancer on the link above.
4) When replacing your air conditioning system don’t install one that is too big. Bigger is Definitely NOT Better in air conditioning. It is much more efficient to run a smaller unit longer than it is to run a larger unit shorter. The larger unit will short cycle in the heat of the day and will be the equivalent of driving your car in stop and go traffic. It is much more efficient to set your cruise control and run on the highway than it is to drive in town. Same thing with your air conditioner. A prolonged run time with a smaller unit will use less electricity and will allow for better dehumidification. Even a properly sized air conditioner is oversized over 90% of the time. It is actually better to undersize your unit slightly so that on the hottest of days for a couple of hours you may not be able to maintain cooler than 78, but during the rest of the year you will save money and dehumidify better. See Bigger is NOT Better
5) If you use a programmable thermostat: Don’t set the temperature up more than 2 degrees during the day while you are gone. Cooling the home down at 5:00pm is the peak of the heat of the day. It takes more energy to cool the house down 4 degrees in the evening than it does to just maintain the temperature all day long. If you are going to be gone for a couple of days then you can set it up as much as 4 degrees. Setting the temperature too high or turning the unit off in the summer time can cause mold and mildew problems in the home.
6) The easiest time of the day to cool your home down is at about 6 in the morning. The attic is cool and the outside temperature is about the lowest it is going to be for the day so there is the least load on the home.
7) The peak load time for your air conditioner is from 3 to 10 pm. Even after the sun goes down the attic is very hot from the load of the day and keeps radiating that heat into the space.
8) Rinse your outside air conditioner coils to keep them clean and free of debris. Do not spray them with pressure because this will lodge the dirt into the coil deeper. Just run the hose over them and let it run down the coils. This will let the dirt and salt corrosion run down and off the coils. This should be done about every month in the summer time.
9) Keep your air conditioner filter changed properly. A very dirty air conditioner filter can restrict the airflow of your unit and can cost you on your electric bill. See The Truth About Filters
10) Shade your outside air conditioner. But make sure to not restrict the airflow. Do not build a cover over the unit because the hot air discharging out of the top of the unit will recirculate and the unit will think it is much hotter than it actually is outside and cost you more to run. Also make sure that shrubs and vines and vegetation are cleared away from the unit.
11) Don’t close off the AC vents to rooms. Closing vents to rooms that are not being used may cause the unit to have too much restriction on the blower which will cause it to use more electricity. Plus the heat developed in those rooms will transfer through the interior uninsulated walls to the other rooms you are cooling and still cause the AC unit to run. See Pressure Imbalances for more info.
12) Don’t shut the doors to rooms. Closing bedroom doors or other doors in homes can restrict the path of the air back to the return air of the unit. This can cause pressure imbalances in your home which will drive infiltration of outside air and will cause cooling problems.
13) A refrigerator or freezer running in the garage or an unconditioned space can cost you $50 to $100 per month or more for older units on your electric bill. These appliances are designed to run in conditioned space. In a hot garage or outdoors the cabinet will absorb more heat and the compressor will have to work much harder to maintain the inside temperature.
14) Install a 24 hour timer for your electric water heater to turn it off at times you will not be using much hot water.
15) Make sure your home is tight and you don’t have much infiltration of outside air. Infiltration of hot, humid, dusty, attic air is the worst. This is the sealing that will pay for itself the most. Check out this link for Whole House Diagnostics. Whole House
16) Make sure your ductwork is insulated well and is not leaking. Duct leaks can cost you dearly on your cooling and heating bills. DO NOT COVER DUCTWORK WITH ATTIC INSULATION! Covering your ductwork with attic insulation will cause the ducts to sweat and can cause ceiling damage.
17) Make sure your return air chamber or ductwork is sealed totally air tight. Drawing attic air into the return can cost you dearly on your electric bills.
18) Make sure you have adequate insulation in your attic. The Department of Energy recommends R38 in our climate zone. This is between 13 and 18 inches depending on what type of insulation you have.
19) Make sure your attic is ventilated properly. DO NOT INSTALL POWER ATTIC EXHAUST FANS! Power fans will draw a negative pressure on the attic and will actually draw the cool conditioned air out of the house. This draws more outside air into the house which has to be conditioned. This causes your AC unit to run more. See an informative video about Power attic fans and other info click on the Comfort Institute Videos. Click Here to Go to Video Page
20) Make sure your electric provider is not gouging you on the Price Per Killowatt. Check out different electric providers and rate plans at www.powertochoose.org. Many peoples contracts are expiring and their rates have gone up dramatically.