There are lots of ways to save energy, but if you’re looking to save on your monthly energy bill, it’s important to know what the biggest cash guzzler is in your home. At this time of year, it’s pretty obvious: it’s your air conditioner.
Air conditioning can account for nearly half of your bill. In fact, air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the U.S. at a yearly cost of about $29 billion to homeowners. Two-thirds of residential electricity demand in Texas comes from AC. So while appliances, electronics and lights all contribute significantly to your monthly energy use, the AC is the biggest culprit.
Especially during hot summer months when the outside temperature increases, so does the inside temperature and humidity. The AC is designed to dehumidify, circulate and cool the air. If the outside and humidity temperatures increase, the air conditioner will operate more frequently and for longer periods of time, which may result in higher monthly bills.
Saving energy is important, not only for your wallet but also to keep our city and planet clean and healthy. CPS Energy is taking steps to increase its reliance on renewable energy sources, but you can help lower your bill and reduce your carbon footprint by following these tips when it comes to your HVAC system:
- Have your system inspected by a licensed and bonded professional at least twice a year, spring and fall.
- Set your thermostat between 78° and 80°. Raise it by 2°-3° when you’re not at home.
- If you are buying a new air conditioner, install a unit with a rating of 15 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) or higher.
- Use a fan to help you feel cooler.
- Check and/or replace your air filters every two weeks from May through October.
- Check ducts for air leaks.
- Install solar screens to limit heat from sunlight entering the home.
- Close your curtains and blinds when practical during the day.
CPS Energy offers a free Wi-Fi Honeywell programmable thermostat with free installation that can control the temperature at home from the Internet using your smart phone. You can also check out our programmable thermostat calculator to see just how much you could save.