The average Knoxville family spends about $2,200 per year or more on utility bills. You can free up some extra cash by cutting back on energy consumption. Here are eight tips to help you reduce your home’s utility costs:
1. Use Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans don’t cool indoor air. Rather, they improve cool air circulation. They also generate a wind chill effect. Ceiling fans running in a counter-clockwise direction can make you feel four to eight degrees cooler. Using ceiling fans and raising your thermostat by four degrees can cut utility costs by up to eight percent with no reduction in comfort.
2. Close the Curtains
Solar radiation that enters your home through windows can raise indoor temperatures by up to 20 percent. Solar heat gain increases utility costs by making your air conditioner work harder to cover the extra cooling load. You can reduce solar heat gain by keeping curtains closed during the day. Although any type of window covering will do, curtains with a white backing reflect solar radiation and can reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent.
3. Get an Air Conditioner Tune-Up
Seasonal air conditioning services can reduce cooling costs by 30 to 40 percent. Your service technician will thoroughly clean the air conditioning unit to maximize energy efficiency and fine-tune cooling performance. Weak links and budding problems can be identified and addressed before they cost you money in air conditioning repairs down the road. Annual air conditioning maintenance can reduce unexpected system breakdowns by up to 95 percent.
4. Keep AC Filters Clean
Running an air conditioner with a dirty filter will cost you money and damage your HVAC system. Clogged filters restrict airflow. Your air conditioner will burn extra energy to push cooled air through a dirty filter. That drives up utility bills and subjects your air conditioner to extra wear and tear. Replacing a clogged filter with a clean one can reduce energy usage by up to 15 percent immediately. Keeping filters clean at all times can decrease cooling costs by up to 7.5 percent overall.
5. Turn up the Thermostat
Reduce cooling costs by raising the thermostat 7-10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours per day. According to energy.gov/Energy Saver, turning up the thermostat when no one is home can save up to 10 percent annually on electric bills. An inexpensive programmable thermostat can make these temperature adjustments automatically. It can also cool off the house before you get home.
6. Seal Ductwork Leaks
The ducts that distribute treated air throughout your Knoxville home can develop holes, cracks and leaks at the joints. Energy Star estimates that up to 30 percent of conditioned air is lost as it makes its way through leaky ductwork. Meanwhile, your air conditioner must work double-duty to replace cool air that’s lost in transit. The upshot is higher utility bills and extra air conditioner wear and tear. Sealing leaky ducts can shave up to 20 percent off your energy costs. It will also reduce the demands on your air conditioning system.
7. Keep Your Fridge Full
Reduce your refrigerator’s energy consumption by keeping it well-stocked. The more food in the fridge, the less space your refrigerator has to cool. However, don’t pack it too full. That could impede proper air circulation. Always keep foods covered. Moisture makes the compressor work harder.
8. Upgrade Your Air Conditioner
Do you have an older air conditioner that hasn’t been properly serviced? Air conditioners lose efficiency every year, and poor maintenance only makes matters worse. Replacing an aging air conditioner with a more efficient system could save you a bundle on energy costs. Air conditioning efficiency is measured, in part, by the unit’s SEER rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioner.
As a professional AC contractor, Melton Heating and Air Conditioning can help to make your Knoxville home more efficient. Call us at (865) 210-8942 to learn more about our HVAC services. One of our comfort consultants will be more than happy to answer your questions.