How to Save Money by Conserving Energy During the Hot Summer Months
Did you know a properly insulated home can save you as much as 30% on your energy use? Riverside is known for its hot and dry summers, and your air conditioning is probably running most hours of the day and night to keep your family cool. Here are 10 tips for making sure your HVAC in Riverside is not wasting your hard-earned money!
Tips to Save in the Summer
- Many of us love to look outdoors and see the beautiful mountains in the distance, but the exposed glass in the heat of the summer can increase your energy usage quite a bit! If your windows are not covered, consider purchasing and hanging drapes over windows that receive the most sun.
Sunlight turns into heat as it comes through your windows. Blocking the sun can decrease the ambient temperature in your home, which will reduce the amount of time your air conditioning is running. Some homeowners choose to hang bamboo-style shades outside as well and only lower them when the sun is hitting those particular windows.
- Adjust the vents in each room depending on usage and heat exchange in that room. Never shut a vent completely, as it affects the air pressure in your ducting and can damage your HVAC by pushing air back through the ducting.
In rooms that receive more use or more warmth from the sun, open those vents fully. In guest rooms, or offices that are not used as frequently, close the vents partway. This way, you aren’t cooling a room that isn’t used often. For example, a place that faces North or East does not get the hotter afternoon sun like a West or South facing the room.
- Check the location of your thermostat. If your thermostat is placed on a wall that receives heat or sun, or if it is near your computer or television, consider moving it. You want your thermostat on an interior wall as central in your home as you can place it. If it is near heat-generating devices, it will cause you’re AC to kick on more frequently, which wastes energy.
- Another way to save on energy and help your air conditioning in Riverside function to its best ability is to assure that furnishings or drapes block none of your vents. For your vents to function correctly, they need at least 18” of space so that air can move away from them and cool your space.
If the furniture is blocking the vent, you are trapping the air in a tiny space and not cooling your rooms. This creates hot areas, and you may feel the need to drop the thermostat to a lower setting, thinking your setting is not accurate. If you cannot arrange your furniture away from your vents, you can use magnetic vent deflectors to help move the cold air away.
- Another area of the home that can increase the heat in your home is your attic. We all know that heat rises, and the attic gets extremely hot during the summer. That heat can affect the temperature in your home quite a bit. Inspect your attic space and consider adding insulation to your attic and to the ducting if it is not adequate.
When you schedule a yearly air conditioning service appointment, your technician will check this for you as well. Also, if you do not have attic fans, they are a great way to suck the hot air from your attic and cool that space so that your ac is not working as hard due to heat build-up in the attic crawl space.
- With all of the technological advances of the last few years, it was only a matter of time before it crossed over to thermostats. There are many options for smart thermostats on the market. They can help you save energy because they are not only programmable and accessible from your smartphone or tablet.
These thermostats learn your patterns and adjust accordingly. They make it easy to adjust your thermostat while you’re away from home, and they are easy to change while you are vacationing, or when the weather changes and you want to switch from cooling to heating your home.
- An easy way to help your home feel cooler and allow you to adjust your thermostat up a few degrees is to install ceiling fans. While they do not physically cool the air in your home, the moving air can make your space feel more refreshing. Also, make sure you’re a/c has a good dehumidifier. Drier air feels cooler than moist air.
- Air balancing your air conditioner is significant to make sure it is running as efficiently as possible. If you have followed all of the above advice and you still notice warm spots in your home, you’re a/c may need to be balanced. An air conditioning repair technician can come out and use specialized testing to check the airflow in your home and adjust it so that you do not experience hot or cold spots in your home.
- The most obvious and sometimes overlooked way to decrease energy use is to increase the temperature setting on your air conditioner. After you have followed all of the above tips, you should be able to adjust your thermostat for maximum savings! By setting it to 78 degrees while you are home, and 85 degrees while you are away, you can decrease your bill by 10%! That is a lot of money over our hot summer and fall months!
- The last energy savings tip would be to replace an aging system. With a new HVAC unit with an Energy Star rating and new insulated ducting, you can save money year-round on your heating and cooling bills!
Keeping your air conditioning running its best by scheduling a yearly maintenance appointment and following the tips above will help it run as efficiently as possible so you can save your money for some summer fun!