The Heat May Be Rising but Your Electricity Bill Doesn’t Have To
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
By July, the heat of summer is in full swing all over the state. Pools are busy, sprinklers are watering wilting lawns and leaping kids, and air conditioners all over the city are running full tilt. Americans spend an estimated $22 billion every year on cooling our homes with air conditioning, using about 183 billion watts of electricity in the process. In the hottest climates, this accounts for as much as 70% of our utility bills in the summer months.
If your energy bill is on the rise because of summer temperatures doing the same, use some of these simple tips to keep cool and lower your utility bills at the same time.
Start with buying an energy efficient air conditioner. If you’re in the market to buy or replace your air conditioning unit, here’s some information that may be helpful in choosing a model that will ultimately save you money.
Know your BTU’s. All air conditioners indicate how many BTUs they produce, but if you don’t know what a BTU is or how it affects the temperature of your house, the information is essentially useless. Here’s how it works: a BTU (British Thermal Unit) correlates to how much space an air conditioner can cool. Still, you need to know how many BTUs are necessary for the space you live in. No problem. Use this handy chart from Energy Star:
Sq. Ft. to be Cooled BTUs/ Hour Needed
100 – 150 5,000
150 – 250 6,000
250 – 300 7,000
300 – 350 8,000
350 – 400 9,000
400 – 450 10,000
450 – 550 12,000
550 – 700 14,000
700 – 1,000 18,000
1,000 – 1,200 21,000
1,200 – 1,400 23,000
1,400 – 1,500 24,000
1,500 – 2,000 30,000
This pdf will give you more information about energy efficiency.
Calculate your Cost at the Store. Before you purchase a new or replacement air conditioning unit, figure out how much power you really need to cool your home or apartment and buy an appropriately sized unit. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. An air conditioner with a lot of power will cool your rooms quickly but won’t pull the humidity from the air the way it should, essentially working harder than it needs to and costing you money you don’t have to spend.
Replace Units More than 10 Years Old. If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it’s time for a replacement. New air conditioners are so much more efficient than older models that you could save as much as 10% in energy usage and may be able to cut your energy costs in half.
Own a Larger Home? Go for Central Air. The cost of installing central air is higher but there are additional benefits. In addition to effectively and efficiently cooling a space that’s larger than two rooms, you’ll also improve the resale value of your home. Central units can also control humidity, and filter allergens and pollutants out of indoor air.
Add a Fan. An efficient air conditioner can save you money but by adding a fan to a room (or two) you’ll really get a lot of ban for your buck. Ceiling fans use only about a penny an hour to run and will make you feel anywhere from 3° to 8° cooler – that’ a potential difference between 72° and 64° for less than a quarter a day!
Give us a call and we’ll help you find the perfect air conditioning unit for your home. Our knowledgeable staff will walk you through all the options and make sure you and your family stay cool all summer long.
10/23/2017 - 5 Tips to Slay Your Energy Vam
08/13/2017 - Putting Your Home in "Vacation
01/23/2017 - What is VRV?
12/20/2016 - How to Save Energy During the
11/08/2016 - Windows Open or Closed?
09/18/2016 - Tips for Saving Money on Your
07/14/2016 - What Efficiency Ratings Mean f
09/14/2015 - Fall Home Heating and Lowering
08/05/2015 - Home Cooling without an Air Co
07/10/2015 - Reduce Energy Use and Costs wi
06/23/2015 - Before You Switch on Your Air
03/17/2015 - What Do You Need to Know about
01/13/2015 - What are Ductless Heating and
11/12/2014 - How Your Thermostat Affects Yo
08/11/2014 - Maximize Air Conditioner Effic
07/16/2014 - The Heat May Be Rising but You
06/05/2014 - 5 Green Ways to Stay Cool this
05/13/2014 - Stay cool while saving energy