It's shaping up to be another hot summer here in Massachusetts — but this summer is likely to be a little different than summers past. Whether you are working from home, sheltering in place, or in full-on quarantine mode, it is very likely that you will be spending more time in your home over the next few months. So, how can you keep cool while keeping your electricity bills as low as possible?
Boston Solar is the number one Massachusetts-based solar installer, and efficiency is a big part of what we do each and every day. Here are our top 5 tips for saving money on your summer energy bills this year while you’re spending more time at home.
Use Your Thermostat, Smartly
The engine underneath the hood of your home comfort is your air conditioner. Make sure you are using the most efficient practices when it comes to telling your air conditioner what to do with your thermostat settings. Remember these tips:
For every one degree you raise the temperature, you can save between 1-3% on your cooling bills. Set your thermostat as high as you can stand!
If you have a programmable thermostat, optimize it to increase the temperature when you do not need your air conditioner’s full cooling power (at night, or while you are not at home).
Remember, your air conditioner will cool your home at a constant rate, so reducing the temperature will not cool your home any faster.
Or, Use a Smart Thermostat!
Smart thermostats like the Google Nest and EcoBee take much of the work out of increasing the efficiency of your air conditioner. Not only can you control a smart thermostat from anywhere you can get a cell phone signal, but a smart thermostat also learns from your comfort behaviors, and will automatically find the most efficient settings after just a few days of you and your family going about your normal lives, even in the new normal.
A smart thermostat can save you an estimated 15%-23% on your cooling costs, depending on the size and shape of your home.
Become a Fan of Your Ceiling Fan
Though utilizing your ceiling fan won’t actually drop the temperature reading on your thermostat, the moving air circulating from a ceiling fan can actually make you feel cooler.
The science behind this is similar to the “wind chill factor” we are all too familiar with in the winter — which increases convective heat loss. Turning on the ceiling fan in the room you are in reduces the heat you feel on your skin, without having to reduce the temperature setting on the thermostat.
Adopt Energy Saving Household Habits
It is equally (if not more) important to reduce the amount of heat that is introduced into your home as it is to ensure you have a properly working cooling system. Running appliances like the laundry dryer, oven, and dishwasher will generate heat that will make the job of your air conditioner much harder.
Lightbulbs, vacuum cleaners, computers, and even your TV also generate heat, while using energy as well. Save your use of these appliances for strategic times, like off-peak charging times or cooler nights when the sun has gone down.
Avoiding peak charging periods to run your more energy-intensive appliances, will help you save on electricity bills. Though, if you already have solar installed, run these appliances while your solar panels are producing electricity during daylight hours.
Schedule AC Maintenance, or Replace Your Outdated AC Unit
Much like your car needs an oil change or a new set of tires every now and again, your air conditioner should be regularly maintained to ensure efficient operation. Dirty air filters, deteriorated moving parts, and poor ductwork can increase cooling costs slowly, but surely.
And if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old or required more than two repairs in the last year, you could stand to benefit from a newer, more efficient AC. You could even consider upgrading to a ductless mini split heat pump, which offers extreme efficiency in both heating and cooling modes, lowering your energy costs year-round.
Using Less Energy = More Affordable Solar Installation Costs
Boston Solar is in the business of expanding the solar capacity and solar panel savings of Massachusetts, but we are also in the business of helping homeowners reduce their energy usage. If you are looking for more energy saving tips to implement in your home before you start your solar installation project, schedule a free solar quote and learn more about how many solar panels your home needs, and how you can meet your future energy goals. Once you have solar installed, you’ll be generating your own electricity to meet as much as 100% of your energy consumption habits!
Feeling the heat from your summery energy bills while spending more time at home? Take control of your home comfort and energy costs with Boston Solar. Call us at 617-858-1645 or Get in touch here.