Before you know it, summer will be here. No matter where you are located in the United States, you have to be prepared for heatwaves, sunshine, and high energy costs. Why the latter? Because as the last year has shown, climate change has meant those summer months of the year are much hotter than ever before. If you want to be anywhere near comfortable during the sweltering summer, you’re most likely going to be keeping your air-conditioning going for longer periods of time, and watching your electric bills skyrocket as you do.
But are there alternatives to this? Some elements cannot be changed. The weather and the home are fixed. You can perhaps look to increase ventilation within your home, but this will only go so far. There needs to be an option that involves using less energy, or relying on the AC system a lot less, and keep your electric bills down as a result. Luckily, there are a few good ideas here, that can help solve not just your electricity bill, but the puzzle of all of your energy bills as well. Here is how to plan for more expensive utility bills in the summer.
Checking for Problems
Even though summer may seem like a long time away, now is the best time to start looking for any potential problems with the HVAC systems in the home. HVAC (which stands for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) is often the main expenses on your energy bill and contributes to your overall utility usage all year round. In the winter months, colder temperatures mean that heating is used much more, whereas in the summer, the air conditioners will be the biggest expense. Ventilation systems tend to be used all year around.
As well as the potential for serious health problems through air borne viruses, humidity in the air causes an issue for your wallet too. When the indoor air has too much moisture, the heating has to warm both the air and the water in the air and is therefore working much more than it should. Humidity should be less than 60% at the most, as it is the perfect climate for bacteria and viruses to breed. Air conditioners and ventilation are supposed to work together to prevent that. However, if you have checked your thermostat recently and found that, despite being turned up, the home is taking longer to heat, then look at both the heating systems and the AC unit. There is a problem with either one in this case that needs to be fixed.
In the summer months, humidity is still an issue, only on this occasion, the heating is less likely to be used. Make sure that there is nothing blocking your vents to let the wet air escape, or that your AC unit isn’t faulty. It’s better to get it repaired than keep paying extraordinary amounts of money on your utility bill for them.
Switching Air Conditioners
Air conditioning costs can be high for up to nine months of the year, as they dry out the humid air in the spring, summer, and parts of fall and spring. The moisture in the air may have been caused by different forms of heat, but what if there was a way to reduce all of your HVAC usages by placing more emphasis on your air conditioners?
Consider getting a split AC unit with a heat pump attached. These both warm the indoor air in cold temperatures and vice-versa in the hot climate of summer, but also remove the moisture from the air at the same time. This means that neither your furnace nor your AC unit is working harder than it should, which should use less energy and show a drop in your utility and energy bills as well as better the indoor air quality.
Preventing Unnecessary Usage
Perhaps the best way to save on your utility bills is to use fewer utilities. This summer (after a year of having to avoid going outdoors) could give you the perfect opportunity to learn some new skills and pick up some hobbies that don’t rely on using power or electricity. Learn a new musical instrument, hone your problem-solving talents with mind puzzles or take up a course and learn different pieces of knowledge that you never knew before. With every new hobby, you gain new strengths in your cognitive skills, and also keeps you away from video games or the television. Taking up new hobbies that make you smarter may be the best way to lower your electrical energy uses while upping your brain power instead!