When the weather heats up, demand for electricity rises steeply, and blackouts become more possible. (These are the sort of blackouts that occur because of high demands on the power grid, unlike the sort of massive storm-related blackouts that struck much of Ohio and the East this summer.) Although it involves a little sacrifice and rescheduling, you can lower your demand, reduce high energy bills and contribute to fewer power blackouts when you take steps to conserve power during heat waves. You may even find that some of these practices can help you reduce your energy bills throughout the summer, regardless of the temperature outdoors.
- Do as much household work as you can during the early morning hours, such as vacuuming, laundry and cooking. Each of these household chores adds heat to your home that your A/C would have to counter if you did them later in the day.
- Hang your laundry outside to dry if you have an electric dryer. You can fluff them on a heat-free setting and place them on coat hangers to get rid of the wrinkles. Clean the lint filter inside your dryer after each load to increase its efficiency and lower high energy bills.
- Close your drapes to stop solar heat from warming your home. You can also install shade screens on the outside of windows that can stop as much as 90 percent of the heat gain from the sun shining into your home.
- Run your dishwasher in the morning or in the evening with only full loads. Let the dishes air-dry.
These habits will save energy, but the largest single energy user in your home is your central air conditioner. Consider these tips to help it run more efficiently.
- Check the air filter for the blower when you’re running the A/C frequently. When it’s covered with dust, it slows the passage of air throughout your whole system, resulting in high energy bills along with more frequent repairs.
- Clear away any vegetation from the outdoor condenser. Use a mild spray with a hose to loosen any dust or grass clippings that collect on the fins and coil.
If you’d like more information about lowering high energy bills and how routine HVAC maintenance can help you do that, contact Detmer & Sons Inc. We’ve provided HVAC services to the Greater Dayton area since 1978.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about reducing high energy bills and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.