No one would suggest that you forgo air conditioning in the Las Vegas heat. But with cooler temperatures finally on the horizon, you probably will be using your air conditioner much less.
If you're like many U.S. homeowners, your electric bill represents at least 13 percent of the money you spend on energy every month, the U.S. Department of Energy says. (And for homeowners who endure triple-digit heat, it's probably even more.) Imagine the money you could save between turning up (or turning off) your air conditioner and taking 10 simple, proactive steps to compound the savings, like so:
Flip the switch (on the power strip)
They're called “energy vampires” for a reason: because even when electronics are turned off, they drain electricity. Plug your electronics into a power strip and then turn off the strip. (And no; you won't lose your computer or TV settings.)
Clean your refrigerator coils
Your refrigerator is a vampire of a different breed, consuming more electricity than all your kitchen appliances together. Brush and vacuum the coils at least twice a year and you could increase your refrigerator's efficiency by as much as 50 percent.
Partner your air conditioner with your ceiling fans
When the blades run in counterclockwise direction, a ceiling fan creates a wind-chill effect that evaporates moisture from the skin and makes you feel cooler. In fact, you should feel so cool that you can raise your thermostat setting by 4 degrees with no noticeable difference.
Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
CFLs register impressive results: they lower electric bills by using about 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Install motion sensors
These nifty devices turn the light on when the sensor detects movement (but are not so sensitive that they turn on when you turn over in your sleep). There is a wide variety, too, including those that are wireless and installed in junction boxes.
Install a programmable thermostat
If you're tired of jumping up and down to change your thermostat, or you're prone to letting your AC run when it doesn't have to, a programmable thermostat might be for you. Hiking the temperature at least 7 degrees for at least eight hours can slice your energy bill by 10 percent a year, the department of energy says.
Identify air leaks and plug them
No matter how often you run your air conditioner, you'll enjoy lower electric bills when the cool air you're paying for stays where it belongs. Doors and windows are the two prime places to find air leak.
Check your HVAC filter monthly
You may have to change it only once every two or three months, but why take chances? A clean filter will keep your HVAC system running without interruption – and running more efficiently.
Remain vigilant about annual AC “tuneups”
Next to keeping a clean filter, a yearly maintenance check is the most important step you can take to take care of your air conditioner and produce lower electric bills.
Inspect your insulation
Like many Las Vegas homes, yours could benefit from additional insulation to keep cool air in and warm air out. Download a “Home Insulation Guide" from First Quality Roofing & Insulation to get your started. Then call us to schedule a consultation – so we can help you keep your cool.