Beat the Heat and the High Energy Bills
Summer is here and while you may be dreaming of beach vacations, there is one aspect of the warm weather months that you may not have considered yet--the effect on your utility bills. Did you know that the average household spends $2,000 a year on utility bills, with nearly half going to cooling and heating their home? The cost of keeping cool can be significant, but not if you put a little thought into it from the start. Check out the latest ENERGY STAR Cooling Tips video and the tips below to see how ENERGY STAR products and practices can help you beat the heat and the high energy bills all summer long.
1.) Seal and Insulate
You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by sealing and insulating. You could save up to $200 a year! Sealing air leks around your house and adding insulation can help make your home more comfortable and energy efficient -- and provide up to a 10% savings on your annual energy bills. The biggest air leaks are often hidden in your attic or basement, so it's best to take care of those first, if you can. You can also install weather stripping on doors and windows, and caulking around outlets and pipes. ENERGY STAR has all the info you need to get started, and if you decide you need the help of a contractor, the website will link you to qualified professionals to help you get the job done.
2.) Maintain Your HVAC System
Check out your system’s air filters: A dirty air filter will slow air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy. They should be inspected once a month during heavy use periods like the summer and winter.
Get an HVAC maintenance check: While changing filters is a must, there may be other things wrong with your HVAC system that wouldn’t be obvious to the average person. Have your system serviced annually by an HVAC contractor to ensure that it’s running at optimum efficiency to save you energy and money.
3.) Look for the ENERGY STAR Label
Depending on where you live, replacing your old HVAC equipment with products that have earned the ENERGY STAR can cut your annual energy bill by more than $160. If your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with a model that has earned the ENERGY STAR could cut your cooling costs by 30%.
4.) Get Smart About Your Thermostat
An ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostat is Wi-Fi enabled and can automatically adjust heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance. Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to save energy. And that means you will save money without having to lift a finger.
5.) Make the Cool Choice for a Room AC
If you need a room AC, get one that has earned the ENERGY STAR. A certified room air conditioner uses 10% less energy than a standard model, and on average, will cost less than $75 per year to run.
Looking for more ideas to save on utility bills this summer? Check out the latest ENERGY STAR Ask the Expert video! It has everything you need to know to save big all summer long.