The summer heat will arrive before we know it here in Western New York. Summer can be a great time, but it’s also a period when electrical bills start to rise as air conditioning systems turn on and begin grinding away to keep away the heat.
We want to help you get control over those high electrical bills this season. Below are a few of our professional tips for lowering your electrical costs over summer.
Be gentle with the thermostat settings
Your air conditioning system is one of the biggest consumers of electricity in your home and the source of much of the strain put on the electrical grid. You’re probably running it more than necessary, so in general look to raise the setting on the thermostat.
A good energy-saving setting for the day is 78°F. Try not to run your AC at all unless it’s more than 80°F outside. At night, raise the setting by 10°F—you don’t need as much cooling when you’re sleeping.
Leave the AC on when you go on vacation
This might surprise you—wouldn’t this waste energy? No, not if you set the thermostat to 88°F. The air conditioner will only occasionally come on when you’re away and prevent the house from overheating. You’ll need to use far less energy to cool the house down when you return this way, and that’s where you’ll end up saving energy.
Wait until evening for “hot” jobs
Certain appliances generate a large amount of heat, such as laundry machines and ovens. Try to wait for the evening before cooking or doing laundry so you won’t make your house hotter and force the AC to run longer. We also recommend dry-hanging laundry outside so you don’t need to use the drying machine at all—saving money in two ways.
Use those ceiling fans
If you’ve got them, don’t forget to use them! A ceiling fan uses only a fraction of the energy of an air conditioner, but it can make the people in a room feel around 8°F cooler—often enough to leave the AC off. Remember not to run fans in empty rooms, since they don’t do anything to actually cool the space: they only make people feel cooler. If you don’t have ceiling fans, use some room fans.
Try some candlelight dinners
Add some atmosphere to summer evening meals and use candles to light the room rather than the electric lights.
Uses shades and curtains
A large amount of radiant heat can enter your home through light exposure on the windows. During the day, keep the shades or curtains down on windows with light exposure.
A note about generators
This isn’t a tip for saving electricity, but it’s an important reminder about summer: we recommend installing a whole-house generator. Heatwaves put immense strain on the electrical grid because of increased electrical use, and this can cause an extensive power outage. A generator is your best defense against this emergency. Call our technicians to find out more about installing a generator.