Summer is here, the temperatures are rising, and we’re spending more and more time inside to escape the heat. This leads to an influx of use in our air conditioning and cooling systems, and even adds pressure to the plumbing systems in our homes. It also makes this the perfect time to review your energy bills and find ways to cut costs and waste.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite efficiency tips to ensure that your home operates as green as possible this summer!
Adjust Your Water Heater Temperature
Let's start with your hot water heater. Most water heaters come with a default temperature setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than most people will ever need.
This temperature is problematic for two reasons. First, the higher you set the temperature, the harder the system has to work to heat it up. Second, water this hot will burn your skin.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for the greatest energy savings and safety settings.
Switch to Efficient Plumbing Fixtures
Standard bathroom faucets use about 2.2 gallons of water per minute, and older toilets use about 6 gallons of water per flush. All of this excessive use of water adds up and has a huge impact on your home’s water footprint and water bills.
The Environmental Protection Agency has created products that are labeled as “WaterSense” products. They’re designed to operate with greater efficiency. For instance, their faucets use only 1.5 gallons of water per minute, and their toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush!
Program Your Thermostat Correctly
Just like with your water heater, your thermostat should be set to the correct setting. Even though it is hot outside, don’t rush to cool the house down to icebox temperatures. According to the Department of Energy, the most efficient temperature setting for your home in the summer is 78 degrees. If you’re not going to be home during the day, raise that temperature 7 to 10 degrees and see around 10% more in savings!
Replace Your Air Filters
Air conditioning filters are meant to keep pollutants from entering the indoor unit, called the air handler. Once they are clogged, they become more of a hindrance than a help, leading to:
Wear and tear on the system
Dirty, frozen evaporator coils
Lukewarm, unclean air
Filter replacement is a basic maintenance task that helps keep your energy bills down and your indoor air quality high. Regarding the frequency, you should replace pleated filters every 60 to 90 days unless you own pets or live in a smoggy area, in which case you should do it sooner. The cheapest filters are made of fiberglass and last 30 days.
Limit the Sources of Heat
Even with a well-maintained AC and efficient plumbing fixtures, you may still be hurting yourself if you don't change certain habits in the summer. The following activities generate heat and may ultimately force you to run your AC more:
Using the oven
Using the clothes dryer
Leaving chargers plugged in
Taking long, hot showers without the exhaust fan
Another source of heat is sunlight entering through the windows. Thermal curtains could cut down on about 90% of the heat generated by that light.
To see what American Home Services can do to make your home more energy-efficient, contact us today online or by calling us at (913) 380-4545!