We are always on the lookout for ways to save money and energy. As the spring weather warms up and we inch closer to summer, here are some ways to get your home at its most efficient during those warmer months.
Let Your Appliances Work For You
Home appliances make our lives easier in many ways. In addition to time, they can also save us money. Here are some energy-saving ways to use your home appliances.
Dishes: Use your dishwasher. Newer dishwasher models actually use less water than handwashing dishes. To save even more energy, let dishes air dry.
Cooking: Enjoy the sunshine and cook more meals on your gas grill. When you need to reheat food, turn to the microwave rather than the stove. Microwaves use 1/3 less energy.
Laundry: Set your washer to the warm or cold water setting and always use cold water to rinse clothes. Line dry clothes for more energy savings. When you run the dryer, use full loads only. Be sure to clean the lint trap after each use.
Water: About 18% of the energy consumed in an average household goes to heating water. Cooldown those showers and consider turning down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees).
Maintain or replace Your Old AC
A dirty air conditioner filter can make your system run longer. Replace air filters every three months. If you have pets or someone in the home with allergies, change your air filter monthly.
Before you first begin using your air conditioner for the warmer seasons, have it checked and maintained by a professional. Not only will this ensure that your AC will be ready to cool down your home when you need it, proper maintenance can also help improve your system’s efficiency and longevity.
Air conditioning units last an average of 10 to 15 years. If yours is nearing (or past) the end of its life, consider replacing it with a more efficient model to help save on energy costs. McElroy’s experts can walk you through a wide variety of choices and find a solution that works best for you.
This tip is handy year-round. Wherever leaks occur, you’re losing money. Weather-strip, seal, and caulk doors and windows as needed.
Turn it Off
This tip is also good year-round: when you are not using an appliance, light, or other equipment, turn it off. Remembering to do this one small thing can really add up over the course of the year.
Use Fans and Ventilation
Ceiling fans can help you keep cooler when the temperatures outside are hot. Remember, they are meant to create airflow that cools down your body, not to keep a room cool. Save energy by turning the fan off when you leave a room.
Check that your bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside, not stopping at the attic. Utilize your bathroom fan when showering or bathing to remove heat and humidity
Check Your Windows
When evenings are cooler, open windows while you’re sleeping. In the morning, shut the windows and blinds to help capture some of that cool air. You may even be able to shut off your system during most spring evenings. During the day, close window coverings to reduce heat gain from the sun.
Pay Attention to the Small Stuff
Did you know we regularly add heat to our homes without considering it? Running a computer or dishwasher, using hot irons and hair dryers, using a television or stereo are all examples of seemingly small activities that generate heat. By minimizing use, you help reduce energy and help your home stay cooler.
While we’re talking small stuff, consider installing energy-efficient lighting that runs cooler as well. As it turns out, about 85% to 90% of the electricity consumed by incandescent lights turns to heat. The small remainder is used to create light.
Lastly, by setting your thermostat at 78-80°F, you can help save quite a bit on cooling costs. Each degree above 78° is estimated to save an average 6-8%.
All these actions can lead to energy savings and financial savings by taking some pressure off your AC unit this spring and summer. If you do end up in need of emergency service and repair, you can call McElroy’s 24-hour service line at 1 (877)-McElroy.
Contact McElroy’s experts today to ensure that your air conditioner equipment is in optimal condition and ready for warm weather.