Home Energy Series – Simple Tips to Cut Summer Utility Bills

This article by Phil Mulkis caught my eye because these are simple tips that anyone can implement at little or no cost and they don’t require all that much effort. The offer a fairly good return oth their investment and they are easily maintainable. Check this out!

By Phil Mulkins

It’s 100 degrees in the shade, but some simple tips can help you stay cool inside your home and not break your budget.

American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma suggests to start with blocking the sun’s rays.

“In residential applications, using awnings, shades, drapes, or blinds on west- and south-facing windows keeps out the sun and reduces the home’s heat load,” said PSO’s Eric Raines, manager of energy efficiency and consumer programs.

“Also, using ceiling fans and oscillating fans makes rooms feel cooler by 5 degrees. Circulating cool air with fans allows you to raise the thermostat by several degrees,” he said.

Replacing incandescent bulbs with Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent lamps uses 75% less energy, providing the same amount of light.

“Having an AC tune-up will make air conditioner heat pumps operate more efficiently,” Raines said. “If you haven’t done so already it’s not too late to have yours tuned up. Another thing people forget about is changing their AC/furnace air filters monthly when using the lower-grade filters or every two to three months for the pleated filters. Clean filters lower the AC’s energy consumption 5% to 15%.”

Tim Smith, owner of Triad Service Co. and president of the Green Country chapter of Air Conditioning Contractors of America, said keeping the outside condenser coil fins free of grass clippings and other debris will make the unit more efficient (and less power hungry).

Home owners should not try to do so by removing unit panels to spray water from inside the coils, as the unit is powered by 220 volts. Once a month they can spray down into the fins from outside the unit and still keep it relatively clean. Once a year, a professional AC technician should do a thorough, chemical cleaning.

Reduce cooling energy by setting thermostats at 78 degrees or higher when you’re home and to higher settings when you’ll be away longer than a day. Or turn the AC off around 10 p.m., open the windows and sleep on a camping cot instead of your mattress as it traps your body heat in its padding. With a small fan at the foot of your cot or your attic fan running, you can sleep adequately well in 82-degree air, covered by a sheet. Tulsa’s nighttime lows are expected to remain in the mid-70s for the next few weeks.

Central air conditioners 12 or more years old should be replaced with Energy Star-qualified models for cost savings of up to 30%.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/heating-cooling/simple-tips-can-help-save-on-bills-air-conditioning-maintenance-and-being-mindful-of-energy-consumption-can-help/#ixzz246HckcV2

About gvenice

I have over 25 years of electrical engineering and business management experience. I previously owned and managed a multi million dollar engineering firm. My work took me all over the globe, managing the construction of manufacturing plants where I built a reputation of providing superior service, getting projects done on time and within or under budget. My dedication to the fine details and logical approach to accomplishing tasks provide a huge benefit to my Real Estate clients. After selling my business and retiring to this area, I found a new passion in the Real Estate business and I bring to this business the same level of professional skill and conduct that has made mr successful in the past. My global exposure and extensive travel are also an asset when dealing with a customer base that is located worldwide. An avid boater, I have a thourough understanding of the waterways of East Tennessee and the intricacies involved in dealing with the TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
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