Everyone wants to save money on air conditioning. If you’re more ecologically-minded, you may be taking a more holistic look at your energy use; you realize that saving energy saves money and gives you access to some great energy efficiency rebates and tax credits, but you have other priorities in mind, too. So today, let’s take a closer look at ways to save energy as the weather — and the planet — heats up.
For Beginners: the Basics
There are some simple things that anyone can do to save energy.
Summer is great for grilling, especially since it keeps the heat of cooking outdoors where it won’t tax your air conditioning. If it’s raining, or if you’ve just had a long day, use the microwave instead — it uses less energy and generates less heat.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
Turning your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit uses less energy. It’s also more refreshing to take a cooler shower on a hot day. Your clothes will often do just fine in cold water, too, so that’s another great way to cut back on energy use and unnecessary heat.
Time Your Activities
Some things can’t be helped. You’re going to have to run the dishwasher sooner or later, especially since it’s more efficient than washing by hand. You may have washed those clothes in cold water, but they’re still going to need to be dried. You may want to curl or blow out your hair. Do these things at night when it’s cooler.
Switch to LED Lighting
LED lighting isn’t just more energy-efficient than both incandescent and CFL bulbs. It also runs cooler (up to 90% by some estimates). So you’ll generate less heat, which in turn means less use of the air conditioner.
Turn Your Thermostat Up
Every degree you raise your thermostat over 72 degrees translates to a three percent drop in cooling expenses because it uses much less power. What’s more, it’s also better for your HVAC system, because it won’t be cycling on and off quite as often.
Advanced Tip: Take a Page From Net Zero Houses
Net Zero homes are a relatively new phenomenon that you can learn from even if you’re not looking at building a new home right now. Boiled down to its essence, net zero is about an extremely high degree of energy efficiency. These homes are on the grid, but they’re designed such that they’re capable of producing all the energy they need, and then some.
What’s that got to do with you? Net zero homes work the way they do for a number of reasons, but three of them can be applied to any home:
- Excellent insulation that keeps warm air out in the summer and during the winter
- Passive heating and cooling that take advantage of the sun’s position in the sky to let nature take some of the load off your heating and cooling systems
- Appliances and fixtures that minimize waste heat and maximize energy efficiency
Our planet, and the resources it contains, are finite. While nobody minds saving money, we know that there’s a lot more at stake these days than the digits on your electric bill. For help saving — money, energy, and the planet — get in touch with Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning today.