According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than half of the energy used in a typical home goes toward heating and cooling it. With summer temperatures already hitting triple digits in much of the state and some energy companies hiking rates, many consumers are looking to get the most out of their energy usage. To keep your meter from running out of control in the next few months, BBB recommends following these guidelines:
Get your air conditioner serviced yearly. An inefficient air conditioner can cause your electricity bills to rise significantly this summer. If you haven’t already, get a professional HVAC technician to service your unit. Use BBB’s Member Pages to find BBB Accredited Businesses your area.
Perform a home energy assessment. This involves checking door and window frames for leaks, assessing the insulation levels in your attic and inspecting air filters for cleanliness. These are fairly inexpensive issues to fix. Also examine the wattage of your light bulbs to see if you can move to a lower wattage.
Purchase a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to set the thermostat to increase or decrease temperatures automatically. If you are away from your home for work, on vacation or other extended periods of time, you can program your thermostat to only run during select times of the day. This will decrease how often your air conditioner operates.
Use fans more frequently. Ceiling and portable fans help circulate cooler air in your home which helps decrease the time your air conditioner has to run. They also require much less energy to operate. You can leave your fans on for longer periods of time, while still using less electricity than your air conditioning system.