Summer is here and the temps are high. You may have noticed a slight increase in your latest electric bill due to warmer temperatures. That’s most likely because your air conditioner is running full-force to keep you comfortable.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), air conditioning accounts for as much as 50 percent of the average home’s energy use during summer months. However, proper service, maintenance and smart use of your home’s cooling system will help you keep your energy costs in check.
Having your air conditioner unit serviced by a licensed HVAC contractor is very important to ensure your unit is operating at peak efficiency. They should also inspect your duct work annually. Leaky ducts can reduce your efficiency by as much as 20 percent.
Clearing obstructions away from the air return and trimming brush and weeds away from the outdoor units to ensure good air flow is also something that is important for the unit to perform as it should.
Changing the air filters inside your home on a monthly basis can not only reduce the strain on your cooling system, but it can also improve your home’s air quality.
The DOE also recommends that you set your home’s thermostat as high as possible while still maintaining a comfortable environment. For every one degree you raise or lower your thermostat, you increase or decrease your energy costs by one percent. West Florida Electric Cooperative (WFEC) energy services personnel recommends a thermostat setting of at least 78 degrees during summer months.
Investing in a programmable or smart thermostat can lead to even greater savings by automatically adjusting the temperature so that your cooling system runs more often while you’re at home and less often
when you’re away. 87815001
Windows are great sources of natural light for your home but they’re also great sources of heat during summer months. Installing curtains, blinds or shades on east and west-facing glass is one of the most cost-effective ways to make your windows and home more energy efficient. Proper weather stripping and caulking around window panes and casings will also improve your window’s function by keeping the cool air in and the hot air out. Applying Low-E window film to your home’s windows will further repel the summer heat. Adding insulation in your attic or on your home’s roof deck is also an important step you can take to improve your home’s efficiency. At least R-38 insulation is recommended for attics. If you can see the top of your ceiling joists or your insulation level is at or below the top of those joists, then you most likely need to add more insulation.
Simply turning on a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the temperature on your thermostat by at least four degrees without impacting your comfort level.
Appliances today are more energy efficient than ever and perform better and use less electricity than they ever have in the past. Despite their efficiency, most major household appliances give off heat when in use. During peak temperatures, the residual heat from appliances can put a major strain on your home’s cooling
system. Cooler temps during the early morning or late evening make these the most ideal times for running your dishwasher or for washing and drying clothes. Using major appliances during off-peak hours can save
Many pool owners don’t realize it but pool pumps can be a waste of energy. The energy used to operate
the cleaning and filtering equipment can easily equal the energy used to power an average home for the same period of time. On an annual basis, the typical inground pool can account for one-quarter of a household’s energy bill. 51692002
One reason pool pumps may use this much energy is because they are running much longer than actually needed. Circulating your pool’s water does keep the chemicals mixed and the debris removed but as long as the water circulates while the chemicals are added, they should remain mixed so it isn’t necessary to re-circulate the water each day. Most debris can be removed with a skimmer or vacuum instead of a pump. Using chemicals in the water and scrubbing pool walls are the best methods to remove algae.
If you reduce your pool’s filtration time to just six hours, you can save. Running pool pumps during off-peak hours will also help reduce energy costs. In WFEC’s service area 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. is the best time
frame to run a pool pump. Installing timers to control your pool pump is also a great way to save. Running the pool pump for several short intervals during the day can also help keep the pool cleaner. Make sure you
also choose the smallest pump and the largest filter suitable for your pool size to help reduce your pool’s
operating costs. Running a pool pump even one hour less per day helps save approximately 22 kilowatt
hours per month.
If you have questions about a pool and how to save or any other ways to save energy during the summer, please contact our energy services department today with any questions. You can also find some great energy-saving tips on www.westflorida.coop.
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Energy Efficiency Tip
Cleaning or replacing HVAC system filters monthly will help your unit run more efficiently.