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Cool (and Mostly Free) Ways to Cut Your Energy Bills This Spring and Summer

Paying bills

Warm weather is coming (we promise!) – before you know it you’ll be setting your thermostat for “cool” and waiting for that first A/C bill to arrive.

If you want to keep that bill as low as possible without sacrificing comfort, it could take a little effort – but not necessarily a lot of money: simple and inexpensive (often free) changes can have a big impact on your home energy bottom line.

Here are some of the best bang for the buck changes you can make to control energy costs this spring and summer:

  1. Use your windows to control heat gain – Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), cellular shades can reduce unwanted solar heat through windows by up to 80 percent, reducing the total solar gain to 15 percent or less when installed with a tight fit. Blinds, curtains, drapes and window films can also be effective ways to keep the heat out and the light in (we’ll talk more about this in a future blog).
  2. Take advantage of your programmable thermostat – By adjusting your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day, you can save about 10 percent on your cooling bill, says the DOE – and a programmable thermostat makes that easy. Overall, aim for a temperature 78° when you’re home and raise it while you’re away. For more tips on using your programmable thermostat for energy savings, check out this video or ENERGY STAR’S guidelines for programmable thermostats.
  3. Use fans – Used in tandem with your air conditioner, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4° with no loss of comfort – just make sure the rotation of your fan is set to counterclockwise to pull cool air upward rather than pushing rising hot air downward (see here for an explanation). Remember to turn off your ceiling fan when you’re not there – fans cool you, not your room. And don’t neglect “forgotten fans,” either: a bathroom fan will remove the heat and humidity from your home, as will a kitchen / range fan.
  4. Maintain your air conditioner – Without an annual tune-up, your home cooling system will lose five percent efficiency per year or more – which means that a professional annual tune-up will more than likely pay for itself in a single season (while also saving wear and tear on your equipment). Check your AC’s air filter at least once a month during cooling season, replacing or cleaning when necessary. Vacuum vent covers regularly to prevent dust buildup.
  5. Avoid heat-making appliances on hot days – When temperatures rise, try not to use the oven – instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave, or grill outside (or try out that new restaurant you’ve been eyeing!). Swapping your incandescent bulbs for LEDs helps, too: about 85 percent of the electricity used to power these bulbs is turned into heat, not light. Learn more about lighting efficiency in this video.
  6. Keep hot air out of your home – Weatherize your home, sealing cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows (weatherization measures like these – installed by pros – are included in our energy audit)
  7. Lower your water heating costs – Check out this article to learn how.
  8. GET AN ENERGY AUDIT – A comprehensive energy audit will identify problem spots and energy efficiency opportunities in your home that will translate into immediate energy savings during the home cooling season.

Find the best ways to stay cool and save money in the warming months ahead by investing in a comprehensive energy audit from CMC Energy Services. Schedule an audit today and our expert technicians will install an average of $1,100 worth of energy-saving treatments – from LED lighting replacements to weatherization measures and more – for a one-time payment of just $149!

Call us today at 203-774-4059 to learn more!

“Their technicians did great work—very professional and neat. I’m going to tell all my friends about the program.”

James L.
Wallingford

“Their technicians were fabulous and an asset to the company. I am very happy that I had the program done.”

Sally O.
Waterbury