Conservation is key when it comes to summer electricity usage. An increase in electric usage will increase the electric bill. Try out these suggestions and be more energy aware to avoid a sticker shock when opening an electric bill.
• Set the thermostat to 78-80 degrees. Air conditioning units contribute heavily towards high summer electric bills. Higher temperatures mean the air conditioning unit has to work extra hard to lower the temperature in a home.
• Be a “fan-atic.” While fans don’t replace air conditioners or heat pumps, fans move air and help people feel more comfortable. On milder days, fans can save as much as 60 percent on electric bills. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when exiting a room.
• Regular maintenance is essential. Lamar Electric recommends that members have their HVAC systems serviced annually. An HVAC professional will check the entire system to make sure it runs efficiently. This will help to extend life of the system and save money overall.
• Cover the windows. In the summer, with sunshine flooding through a home’s windows, the air conditioner has to work harder to keep up. By closing the curtains, the sun’s direct heat is blocked. The less the air conditioner has to work to keep a home cool, the lower the electric bill will be.
• Seal it up. Air leaks in a house could be making the air conditioner work harder to cool the home. Sealing these air leaks can greatly increase the energy efficiency of the air conditioning unit.
• Fill up the fridge. Having a full refrigerator keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. A full fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool.
• Cook quickly. Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than the microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than the stove. Using the stove in the summer will heat a house, counteracting the efforts being made to try and cool the home.
• Hang Dry. Instead of using the clothes dryer in the summer, why not hang dry clothes outside in the sun? A dryer gets so hot that it can end up battling an air conditioner for room temperature.
• Turn the breaker off that controls the electric hot water heater if all members of the household are going on vacation. Don’t heat water that no one will be using.
• Use LED lights. LED lights do not burn as hot as regular incandescent lighting. LED lights also use quite a bit less electricity than older light bulb models.
• Close the fireplace damper. Make sure the fireplace damper has been closed. If it is not closed the air conditioning unit will continue to struggle to keep the house warm which can greatly increase the electric bill.
The main thing to understand when trying to lower summer electric bills is how much the outside temperature affects how hard the air conditioning unit works. If the thermostat is set to maintain an indoor temperature of 68 degrees and the outdoor temperature is 100 degrees, the air conditioner is making up for a 32 degree difference. However, if the thermostat is set to 78 degrees the air conditioner is only making up for a difference of 22 degrees. A ten degree difference can go a long way when considering electric usage.