According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans spend more than $29 billion each year on air conditioning. Southern Trust Home Services, southern Virginia’s leading HVAC, plumbing and electrical provider, offers tips to help Roanoke-area homeowners reduce their energy bills this summer while keeping their homes cool.
“During the summer months, many homeowners keep their air conditioners running at full blast without considering other energy-saving alternatives,” said Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services. “The harder the air conditioning works, the higher the utility bill. There are several things a homeowner can do to keep their homes cool during the summer without increasing their electricity bill.”
Puzio offers the following tips to keep the home cool and reduce energy bills:
- Use a programmable thermostat – It is wise to use a programmable thermostat and raise the temperature when the resident is not home. Doing this will prevent the system from using unnecessary energy to cool the home if no one is home.
- Turn on ceiling fans – If used in conjunction with an air conditioning system, the fans are very effective at lowering the indoor temperature by circulating the cool air throughout the room. In the summer, ceiling fan blades should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. In the winter the blades should turn clockwise to pull cool air up.
- Postpone the use of appliances — On average, there are three major heat generating appliances in the home, the oven, dishwasher and dryer. It is best to use these devices in the evening instead of the hottest part of the day. If possible, skip using the oven during the summer and grill outside more often. Any use of the oven will heat up the home.
- Keep the doors inside the home open — While in the winter, closing interior doors helps keep heat in specific rooms. Doing so in the hot summer months is detrimental to your cause. You want air to flow freely through rooms and throughout the entire home. Good airflow means a cooler home.
- Change air filters regularly — Clogged filters will force the air conditioning system to work harder and use more energy, resulting in higher utility bills. Clean filters also improve indoor air quality.
- Check the window coverings —Thermal drapes, cellular shades or blackout curtains will keep the heat outside and the cool air inside the home.
- Schedule an air conditioner tune-up — Proper HVAC maintenance, which includes having a professional clean coils, ﬁns, air ﬁlters and check for the proper refrigerant charge, is the best way to ensure that the unit runs efficiently and effectively.