DAYTON – When the summer heat is on, it’s important to plan ways to cut energy costs for your home without making the rest of the family uncomfortable.
Nearly half the power used to run a typical home goes to heating and cooling, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So it pays to find ways to turn down the air conditioner this summer and cut your energy bill.
And it doesn’t have to be difficult. Dayton Power and Light has several tips to that can help you start saving on your summer energy costs without spending a lot of money.
Air Conditioning Tips
Consider investing in a programmable thermostat if you can’t remember to re-set the air conditioner when you will be away from home or on vacation. Experts recommend keeping your air conditioner at 78 degrees while you are home – but resetting it to a higher temperature or turning it off if no one will be in the home for several hours.
Remember to clean or replace your air filters in your AC unit at least once a month to improve efficiency. Having your AC unit checked once a year will also ensure it’s working efficiently.
Small fans are less expensive than air conditioners and can circulate the air to help you feel more comfortable. Use ceiling fans when the family is home, but turn them off when no one is there because they only cool people – not rooms.
Close registers to unused rooms and close the doors.
Close drapes and blinds during the heat of the day to block sunlight and keep the heat of the day out of your home.
Wait until evening to use clothes dryers, ovens or dishwashers to avoid producing extra heat in the home. Always use cold water setting for washing clothes. Only run a full dishwasher.
Use your microwave instead of the oven to reduce heat in your kitchen.
Invest a Little to Save a Lot
If you can afford to make a few changes in your home, the following are some good places to start when looking savings on your energy costs.
Replace windows or doors with energy-efficient models. Seal air leaks around doors and windows to keep cool air from escaping. Add insulation to your attic and install an attic fan to exhaust hot air from your home.
Replacing an old inefficient AC unit with a new higher efficiency model could save about $150 a year in energy costs. DP&L has a program for customers to save $100 to $1,600 when purchasing a new, high efficiency AC unit. It’s easy. Participating contractors complete and submit the rebate application to DP&L and the check is mailed directly to your home. Receive an extra $20-50 by installing a programmable thermostat at the same time.
If you plan to be in your home for a while, plant a nice, shady tree to the south and west of your home to shield your home from the sun. Learn more about planting the right tree in the right place to avoid problems later on with utility lines.