As summer begins, you’re probably thinking about how much it’s going to cost to keep your house cool and about keeping your HVAC system working in tip-top shape. Here are ten tips to help you cut costs and save your HVAC from working too hard:
1. Set the thermostat as high as you’re comfortable
The higher the temperature you keep your home in the summer, the higher the savings. That being said, you shouldn’t be uncomfortable! The EPA received a lot of attention when they suggested keeping the home thermostat at high temperatures in the summer – 78 degrees when you’re home, 82 degrees when you sleep, and 85 degrees when you’re away from home (source, source).
While some might be able to handle 78 degrees, others might not be comfortable at that temp. It’s not good to continuously change your thermostat up and down, so take a sweltering day to figure out what temperature you can manage. Once you know which temperature is cool enough to be comfortable, you can set your thermostat (or even put it on a schedule if you have a smart thermostat) to mid to high seventies for optimal savings.
2. Adjust the thermostat when you’re out or away
In addition to keeping your thermostat at an elevated temperature while you’re in your home, increasing the temperature while you’re away is another method for getting those savings on your energy bill. The EPA suggested 85 degrees but cooling the house again when you return might take too long or require a ton of energy, depending on how long you’re gone. If you’re away for 8 hours or more, and it doesn’t take a long time to get your house comfortable again, increasing the temperature is a great move for energy costs.
3. Seal your windows, doors, ducts, and cracks
Sealing or weatherproofing your windows, doors, ducts, and any other cracks that might be making your home less energy-efficient is another good move during a hot summer. Your HVAC system won’t be working hard only to have cooled air escaping, and you’ll get to enjoy much more of the cool air it’s producing.
4. Use fans
Fans don’t lower the temperature in the house but having one on while you’re in a room will help to cool you off. Fans moving counterclockwise in the summer will push cool air downward and draw warm air up. Using fans is another way you can lower your thermostat a degree or two.
5. Open the windows at night
If it’s not too hot and humid overnight, turning the thermostat up or off while opening the windows at night is another good move to give your HVAC system a break and lower costs.
6. Use thick blackout curtains
Thick curtains can prevent the hot sun from heating up your home and can insulate your home, helping to retain the cool air your HVAC is producing. Blackout curtains are just another tool for reducing the workload on your HVAC system and helping keep costs down.
7. Check on the humidity level & use dehumidifiers
When it’s humid, you’ll be less comfortable. Your HVAC’s job is to remove humidity from the air, which is half the battle when keeping you cool and comfortable. If you’re able to test the humidity level, or it simply feels humid inside, adding dehumidifiers can help to make your home more comfortable, reduce the strain on your HVAC system, and even allow you to increase the temperature by a few degrees.
8. Be smart about heat-producing appliances
Cooking on the stove and using other heat-producing appliances will add to the hard work of your HVAC system, especially during extremely hot days. Using these as little as possible or limiting use to the evening or early morning when temperatures are a bit cooler will reduce not only costs but also strain on your HVAC system.
9. Close off entrances to the basement
Your basement is the coolest place in the house as the cool air will settle to the lowest place possible. Open doors or vents to the basement means cool air from your HVAC system will be lost to the basement. Sealing off the basement so that cool air stays in the main living spaces can help. If you have a finished basement, consider spending more time there during the summer months so that you can turn down your home’s thermostat and stay comfortable in the basement.
10. Change your air filters & service your HVAC before it’s hot
Changing the filters regularly is always important for an efficient HVAC system. With summer plants in full bloom and indoor spaces sealed off, dirt and pollen can build up within the house dust. Making sure your air filter is clean is one of the best ways to be assured that your HVAC system is working properly in the summer. Additionally, servicing your HVAC system before the hottest months will guarantee it’s in the best shape possible and can prevent a breakdown due to something that could have been fixed during a tune up.
While all these tips may not be for everyone, there are at least a few actionable steps on the list that can help you save money on your bill and lessen the burden on your HVAC system. And as the weather gets hot, you may even return to this practical list to review what you can do to improve your HVAC quality this summer.
If your bills are too high during the summer, call in the professionals at Exxel Mechanical Services. An HVAC professional can examine your HVAC system to make sure it’s working properly and as efficiently as possible.
Call or email us at Exxel Mechanical Services today at (443) 821-1040 or email@example.com. It would be our pleasure to see how we can help you.