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As summer approaches, many of us are dreading the upcoming electric bills. Because cooling a house requires so much energy, most of us will most likely experience an increase in our energy costs during the warmer months. Thankfully, there are ways to lower the financial burden by reducing the amount of energy we consume:
Have the HVAC unit inspected and cleaned
Because your air conditioning unit draws more power from the grid than any other single source within your home, it is important to make sure it is operating optimally. Inspections and cleanings usually entail examining ducts for leaks and cleaning the unit itself. In addition to having the unit cleaned, homeowners should also keep the air filters inside the home clean. Most filters require a monthly change. However, some filters last from three to six months.
Switch light bulbs
You should also consider swapping your traditional incandescent bulbs for the newer more energy efficient LED bulbs. These energy Star compliant light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy and last 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs. In addition, the increase in consumer awareness of energy efficiency has prompted designers to turn to LED lighting a lot more making the switch to light emitting diode bulbs one of the kitchen and bath trends to watch this year.
Install a programmable thermostat
You probably don’t want to have your AC struggling to keep your house a frigid 65 degrees all day if you are going to be at work or out running errands. However, you also don’t want to come home to a furnace either. This is doubly true if you have kids or pets that will be in doors all day.
With programmable thermostats, you can set them to automatically adjust the temperature in your home, up or down, by remote or at predetermined time an interval which consequently, reduces the amount of energy you use to cool your home. In addition, the newer Wi-Fi enabled thermostats allow you to use your smartphone to adjust your home’s heating and cooling when tied to a cloud-based web service like EnergyHub.
Install blinds or roman shades
It is a well-known fact that a large majority of the heat entering our homes comes through the windows. In order to reduce or even eliminate this you may want to install roman shades or mini-blinds. This one simple act can greatly reduce the amount of heat entering a home thus reducing the costs of cooling your home by reducing the length of time your AC needs to be running.
Consider a fixed rate energy plan
Another way to help govern your energy costs during the summer is to consider participating in a fixed rate electricity plan. With a contract electricity plan, you lock in a certain rate per kilowatt for a stretch of time that does not fluctuate from month to month or during seasonal spikes. Some energy suppliers will even send email and text alert to their customers when they are using more power than anticipated.
In many parts of the country, the summer months result in some of the highest energy bills of the year. Many of us in some way dread the summer months for just that reason. I mean let’s be realistic, in today’s economy the choice between paying our electric bill on time and still having enough to put gas in the car for the rest of the pay period can be all too real for too many of us nowadays.
About the author:
Alex Goodwin is a writer, husband, father and aspiring novelist. When he isn’t writing for HomeDaddys or completing chores from his “honey- do” list, he’s most likely spending quality time with his wife and kids or working on his novel.