We are officially in the middle of summer, and it is going to be hot here in Albuquerque. A hotter-than-average summer is expected, according to most indicators. In addition, consumers in the U.S. are facing the highest inflation in 40 years. Everything is getting more expensive, including energy.
This year, energy costs increased almost 35% compared to last year, primarily due to fuel oil and gas.
Electricity costs are 12% higher, and energy service costs are 16% higher. Staying cool this summer won’t be easy, so here are eight ways to save money on energy.
- Get a Checkup for Your Air Conditioner
Your A/C will be more efficient if it is in better shape. It is possible to save 5-15% on your energy costs by clearing out a clogged unit filter, for example. By extending the lifespan of your unit, you can save money on a replacement. To have your unit serviced, contact a professional.
- Use Fans
The energy used by fans is about 1/60th that used by your air conditioner. Turn on any ceiling fans you have in your house. Electricity costs can be reduced by up to 40%. In contrast to your air conditioner, fans pull body heat away from your skin rather than cooling it. The thermostat can be raised a couple of degrees using fans and air conditioning.
- Check Your Laundry
You consume around 18% of your home’s energy heating water.
First and foremost, make sure you do full loads when doing laundry. The amount of laundry you do can be reduced. Use cold water when you do loads. You can also hang dry once in a while and save on your energy bills.
- Don’t Use As Much Electricity During Peak Hours
Customers are charged more for using electricity during peak hours, as defined by energy companies. The peak hours of the day are those when demand is at its highest. Using most of your energy during off-peak hours will lower your monthly energy bills.
The off-peak hours are late at night or early in the morning.
If it’s an especially hot day, usually when the temperature outside is more than 90 degrees, you might wait until after 6 p.m. to wash the dishes, cook or do laundry.
- Shut Doors and Vents
Close the doors to rooms that you aren’t using at home. It will also help your system run more efficiently if you close the A/C vents in those rooms.
Staying comfortable will require less energy if you aren’t cooling rooms no one is in.
- Keep Your Blinds or Curtains Closed
Keep your blinds closed during the day when the sun is at its brightest and hottest.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat
You can lower your energy bills by installing programmable thermostats in your home. Programming your thermostat allows you to set it for times when you’re not home or asleep. During those programmed times, it’ll set the temperature accordingly, so you’re not always having to make adjustments.
The Nest is a popular option for programmable thermostats, and according to the company, it can reduce your electric bills by as much as 20%.
- Use LED Bulbs
It’s time to switch from incandescent bulbs to LEDs if you have any in your house. The efficiency of incandescent bulbs is incredibly low. Only 10-15% of the electricity in these bulbs is converted into light. The rest is wasted heat.
LED lights, by contrast, use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer. They also run cooler.
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