Summer in Charlotte means plenty of sunshine, warm weather and A/C usage, followed by inflated energy bills. As the weather begins to cool down, take advantage of the following energy-saving tips to help bring your bills back down to earth.
- Adjust the thermostat. Change the settings on your programmable thermostat to reflect the changing season, using 68 degrees as your set point for when you’re home and awake. Adjust that number for times when you’re sleeping or away, saving up to 2 percent on your heating bill for each degree for each degree you lower the dial.
- Turn down the temperature on the water heater. Prevent scalding while saving energy by setting the temperature to 120 degrees rather than the factory setting of 140 degrees.
- Call for service. Scheduling annual preventive maintenance each fall, at which time a technician will inspect, clean and service the heating system to help improve efficiency, increase comfort and extend the life of the equipment.
- Let the sun in. Open drapes or blinds on south-facing windows during daylight hours, allowing the sun to help heat your home. Once the sun drops, close these window coverings to trap heat in and keep cold air out.
- Stop air leaks. Prevent heated air from escaping by sealing leaks around doors and windows. Use caulking or weatherstripping where appropriate, and don’t forget to seal your attic hatch as well.
- Change directions. The same ceiling fan that helps to cool you in the summer can warm your home in the winter, just switch the direction on the fan blades so that they turn clockwise. This creates an updraft that sends the warm air that has risen toward the ceiling and back down to your living space.
- Inspect insulation. Head up to the attic to check the condition and level of insulation. If you can see the joists, consider adding another layer or two to prevent heat transfer between the attic and the ceiling below.
- Increase airflow. Inspect supply and return registers to ensure they’re clean and not blocked by furniture or drapes.
For more energy-saving tips, give us a call at Ross & Witmer. We’ve proudly served homeowners in and around Charlotte since 1945.