The hot summer months are finally upon us. Family barbecues, graduation parties, vacations and hours spent lakeside await this sunny season in Pure Michigan. These scorching few weeks are also the perfect time for Air Conditioning Appreciation, a national holiday in honor of the frequent use of cooling systems.
We all know how refreshing an air conditioner can be, but we also know cooling costs rise especially during peak load — 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Luckily we don’t have to suffer the high costs or extreme heat. Taking these five actions to reduce peak load and to stay cool will make the summer months a breeze:
- Adjust Windows: While your family sleeps, turn off your cooling system and open the windows to let in fresh air. When you wake up, shut the windows and blinds to trap the cool air.
- Regulate the Thermostat: Keep your thermostat as high as comfortably possible, especially when you are away. The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your cooling bill will be. Installing a programmable thermostat can also save 10 percent on your heating and cooling costs per year. Consumers Energy offers rebates on programmable thermostats and central AC units.
- Ventilate with Ceiling Fans: Ventilation is the least expensive and most energy efficient way to cool your home. Using a ceiling fan allows you to turn your cooling system down 4 degrees by creating a wind chill, without minimizing comfort. Remember, ceiling fans cool people and not rooms. Turn them off before leaving a room to reduce energy costs.
- Cater to Cooling Systems: Keep your cooling system efficient by scheduling regular maintenance checks. Also, vacuum registers to remove dust and ensure no objects are blocking airflow.
- Minimize Extra Heat: Decrease activities that create extra heat such as computer use, running a dishwasher, playing stereos and TVs and using hot devices like flat irons. Don’t forget to keep sources of heat like lamps away from your thermostat because they may cause your cooling system to run longer than necessary.
For more than 100 ways to save money on your energy bill, see our online brochure.