August Energy Tips: Lift Some of the Load Off Your A/C
Hot, hot days are nothing new to us now. As we head into August, there are likely few days that your air conditioner will not be running for a period of time.This month, we are sharing some ways to take the stress off of the air conditioner and save a little on your electric bill.
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Lift Some Of The Load Off Your A/C
Often when the weather warms up, air conditioners get turned on, and our electricity bills go up. There are ways to help keep your house cool without solely relying on the air conditioner, which could help keep more money in your pocket.
No Cost Tips:
- Cut back on your use of appliances (particularly the oven and range), reduce your use of hot water, and keep as many lights off as comfortable to help lower the level of heat in your house.
- Avoid unnecessary trips in and out of the house, especially on the hottest days. Heat and humidity come in each time you open the door.
- Ceiling fans, floor fans, and window fans can keep air moving to help keep your home cooler. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) if you use a ceiling fan in conjunction with air conditioning, you can raise the thermostat about 4 degrees Fahrenheit without reducing your level of comfort.
- If you have exhaust fans installed in your kitchen and bathroom, use them to remove humidity and heat when cooking or bathing.
- For the heat that still manages to accumulate in your house, natural ventilation can help. For natural ventilation, close doors, windows, and window coverings during the day, and open them at night.
Low Cost Tips:
- Improvements to your home can also help prevent the outside heat from having as much of an effect inside your home. Adding attic insulation so it measures at least a foot thick will help keep the heat at bay.
- When installing a new roof, choose a light color, which will reflect more heat.
- For windows that receive direct sunlight, sun-blocking window treatments and awnings help keep the heat outside from having as much of an effect on the temperature inside your home.
- Ventilate the attic. When the outside temperature is in the 90's, your attic can easily reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Adequately sized vents and/or an attic fan can help keep hot air from building up.