Due to the recent quarantine, we’re all spending a lot more time in our homes. One unfortunate consequence of being indoors so much is higher energy bills. Our lights are on more, we’re constantly running our AC units, and most of us are opening our refrigerators more often than we would if we were in our normal routines. While quarantine has made staying in our homes unavoidable, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your energy usage down.
5 Ways to Keep Your Energy Bill Low During Quarantine
1. Use Your Ceiling Fans to Reduce Cooling & Heating Costs
According to a recent energy usage study, heating and air conditioning make up nearly 30% of the average US household’s energy usage. This means how you heat and cool your home will have a significant impact on your energy bills. One of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of cooling your home is to use your ceiling fan to your advantage. While ceiling fans do not actually reduce the temperature of a room, they do circulate the air and allow you to feel cooler and comfortable at higher temperatures. With a fan on, most people can raise their thermostat up to 4 degrees without detecting a noticeable difference in comfort level. Even this small adjustment could reduce your energy costs by 8 – 12% each month. However, since fans are meant for comfort rather than temperature reduction, it is inefficient to leave fans running when there are no people or pets in the room.
2. Rely on Window Lighting During the Day
Lighting your home is another area for a considerable reduction in your energy use. It may be a no-brainer that using natural light will reduce the need to have lights on inside your home, but the reality is not all of our homes let in the same amount of natural light. There are ways to improve this, however, such as:
- Making sure your curtains and blinds are open to let in the optimal amount of sunlight
- Utilizing mirrors in strategic places to better facilitate the spread of light throughout your home
- Making some interior design changes, such as lightening the paint color of your walls or using more naturally reflective materials (for instance, a tiled backsplash) to easily bring more light into a space
- Removing obstacles to natural light — that could mean anything from trimming down an unruly shrub to moving a bookcase a few feet to the right
3. Check Your AC Filters
Replacing dirty air filters with clean, new ones can potentially lower your energy costs by 5 – 15%. Having clean air filters is an essential part of AC maintenance and will keep your system running smoothly and effectively. Clean filters also improve the indoor air quality of your home, which will undoubtedly improve your standard of living during quarantine.
4. Be Mindful of Your Water Usage
While long showers on a Monday morning or relaxing to a nice warm bath after a stressful day may at times feel like necessities, water heating makes up nearly 14% of an average US home’s energy consumption. Taking shorter baths and not letting the water run unnecessarily, therefore, can add up to major savings on your energy bill. You can also consider lowering the temperature of your water heater. Whereas most units are set in the 140°F range, lowering it to 120°F can lower your bill 6 – 10%. Likewise, anything you can do to cut down your water usage or the temperature at which you use your water — such as using cold wash cycles for laundry — will significantly decrease your energy costs.
5. Service Your AC Bi-Annually
Calling the experts to service your AC isn’t only for when things go wrong. An HVAC maintenance team can test your AC system and identify issues that may be causing inefficiencies when cooling down your home or contributing to the rise of your electric bill. For example, if your condenser unit is low on coolant or if there is a leak, your AC will stay on for longer and work harder to cool down your home — leading to more energy usage. We suggest having the experts maintain your unit bi-annually to prevent your AC from breaking down at inopportune times.
Let Colman Heating & Air Conditioning Help Reduce Your Energy Costs
Our experienced team of technicians can assist with any of your energy-saving needs. Whether it’s AC & Heating, Water Heaters, or HVAC maintenance & repair, we are here to help. Call us if you need assistance ASAP, or to schedule routine HVAC maintenance.
24-HR Emergency Service: (321) 269-4565