How to Reduce Summer Utility Bills

Air Conditioning Thermostat

`Heating and Air Conditioning Thermostat

Well folks, summer is just around the corner here in sunny Providence New Jersey.  Getting your home ready for the warm summer is equally as important as weatherizing your home for the chilly winter.    There are ways to prep your house for summer and trim your cooling bills.  Most of us cringe before opening our electric bills during the summer.  We know it’s going to sting a little but just how much is the question.  Hopefully in this article we can help curb that anxiety.

Basic Tips

The overwhelming majority of us stay cool inside our homes by using Air Conditioning (AC).  Here are some basic tips that cost nothing but may help keep a few extra dollars in your pocket.

  1. Open the windows on days that you can. Use your own judgment when the heat is stifling outside.  You may just be leaving hot air in.
  2. Make sure all windows in the house are closed when the AC is on.
  3. Do not keep your doors to the outside open longer than necessary.  You don’t only let the cold out but also let the heat in.
  4. Keep the sun out of your home.  Close the blinds or draw the drapes wherever possible.
  5. Install a programmable thermostat.
  6. Keep all lights, lamps, and appliances away from the homes thermostat.  Remember, your thermostat controls the entire temperature of the house so you don’t want anything near that produces heat.  A false reading will affect the comfort in your house and cause excessive AC operation.
  7. Get an AC inspection and cleaning preferably before you start using the air conditioner for the season.  Make all your AC repairs before the heat beats you. 

AC Units and Ceiling Fans

Make sure there is nothing blocking the ventilation of your AC unit.  There can be leaves, grasses, lint and dirt hanging around from last season.  These items will decrease the efficiency of your unit and MUST and the unit remain clear of obstructions.  Before reaching into the unit or more specifically touching the blade, turn off the electricity at the fuse box.  Ceiling fans are a great way to cool down at a minimum cost. It’s much cheaper to run a ceiling fan than use your AC.  These fans come in a variety of sizes and styles.  You can’t walk into a Lowes or Home Depot during the summer without seeing rows of choices and styles of ceiling fans.  If you have a ceiling switched light fixture, you can replace the light with a fan/light combo.

Cooking and Baking

Use your oven sparingly.  This is not to say stop baking or cooking but maybe change the way you cook.  Small toaster ovens, roasters, or crock pots emit much less heat than a full sized oven.  Getting ready for summer means making sure the propane tank is full on the grill. Many of us have experienced cooking burgers or steaks when you run out of fuel half way through grilling.  Not only does it make you mad but is embarrassing if you are having a party.  Make sure the coils on your refrigerator are clean.  You would be surprised at the amount of dirt that gets behind the fridge.  Clean coils mean that the compressor won’t have to go on as often.  Heat is a by-product of the compressor when it is running.

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