Folks in and around Chicagoland spent a lot of time complaining about the winter that never seemed to end. All we wanted was some warm weather. But the mood can change suddenly when the first hot weather electrical bill arrives. Merts Heating & Air Conditioning can help reduce the sticker shock. We came up with a list of six easy things you can do to make summer cooling more affordable, and your home more energy efficient.
1. Your pets and plants don’t need air conditioning as much as you do
Every day millions of us leave our homes for several hours. As much as you love your cat and the hanging basket of petunias in the kitchen window, it’s okay to turn the thermostat up while you’re away. You don’t want to shut the A/C off because the house gets too warm and takes too much energy to cool down. A setting of a couple of degrees higher than your regular setting will help you save on energy.
2. Install a programmable thermostat (or use the one you have)
Of course, many people forget all about the thermostat when they are rushing out the door in the morning. It’s why a programmable thermostat can really help in energy conservation. Once you program it, you don’t have to remember to adjust the thermostat when you leave the house. The other advantage is the house will be nice and cool when you get home. Even if your schedule changes, you don’t have to worry if you have a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. You can use your smartphone to make last minute changes.
3. Use your ceiling fans (or install them)
No, a ceiling fan does not cool the air, but it can make you feel cooler. If you feel cooler, you might be tempted to set the thermostat a couple of degrees higher even when you are home. Make sure the fan blades are turning counterclockwise to get the cooling breeze.
4. Check the temperature of the hot water heater
How high is the thermostat set on your hot water heater? If you don’t know, it could be costing you money. It should not be set any higher than 120 degrees. Who wants to take a scalding hot shower or bath during the heat of the summer anyway? You will find 120 degrees is plenty warm.
5. Get regular maintenance for your air conditioner
Oh, you were waiting for this one, weren’t you? You knew it was coming. No, we are not just trying to sell you something. The experts agree, regular tune ups and maintenance by your expert Merts technician will improve the efficiency of your A/C, and that translates into saving on energy and lower monthly bills.
6. Don’t “heat” your home unnecessarily
Don’t use the oven on hot days. Try to cook in the microwave or use an outside grill. Have you replaced your old light bulbs with LEDs or Fluorescent? Incandescent bulbs convert about 85% of the electricity they use into heat.
Merts also encourages you to explore alternative sources of energy which include renewable energy like solar and wind power, but they are not realistic for many people because of the upfront costs.
Merts Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving the Chicagoland for decades. You have come to depend on us for commercial and residential heating and cooling systems, but we can also help you cut those electrical bills down to size. After all, summer is supposed to be about having fun, not about stressing out over high electric bills.