Zero Cost Ways to Save Energy
Manage Your Thermostat Setting:
You can lower your energy bills by adjusting your temperature setting on your thermostat. During summer months keep your thermostat set at 78 degrees or higher. For every degree lower than 78, your cooling system uses 6% to 8% more energy. In winter months, keep your setting at 68 degrees or lower for maximum savings.
Clean the Coils of Your Outdoor AC Unit;
Over time dust, dirt, and debris builds up on the coils of your outdoor condensing unit to your air conditioning system. It is important to keep your coils clean to help your unit run at maximum efficiency.
Simply use a garden hose to gently spray down the coils on the outside of your condensing unit. Do not power spray your unit, it may damage the coils. Depending on your location, more dust, dirt, and debris may accumulate faster than other locations. You should clean your coils at least once or twice per cooling season. In very dusty conditions, monthly is recommended.
Keep Your Attic Soffit Vents Clean:
Your attic needs to breathe. Keeping your attic soffit vents cleaned will help your attic to breathe more efficiently and help lower your energy bills. In most homes the heating and cooling ventilation ducts run through the attic and the hotter your attic is, the harder your AC unit has to work because the ducts get so hot. You would prefer that your attic temperature only reach 120 degrees as opposed to 140 degrees so that your AC unit doesn’t have to work as hard.
Operate Appliances “Energy-Smart”:
Your clothes dryer generates a lot of heat in your home. Your dishwasher also generates heat. When they are running, your air conditioner has to work extra hard to offset that heat that they generate on top of the heat from outside. By running your clothes dryer and dishwasher at night, when it is cooler outside, you will help your cooling system to run less and save more energy. Only run appliances that generate heat at night.
Note: The utility companies will soon charge more for electricity during peak hours (2PM to 6PM) and will offer much lower rates during off-peak hours. This is the "Smart Grid" philosophy. The goal, with the “smart grid”, is to reward consumers who run clothes dryers and dishwashers at night. On the contrary, consumers will pay extra for running them during peak demand times.
Turn Down Your Hot Water Heater Setting:
Keeping your hot water heater set at 120 degrees and turning it off when you go out of town will help lower your energy bills. 120 degrees is sufficient for showering and cleaning the dishes.