Are your electricity bills shocking you? Take a look at our 10 best tips to deal with this issue and you will move a step closer to lower bills this summer.
1. Check your ducts for leakage.
Leakage from ducts causes 20 to 40 percent energy loss as they let out conditioned air into unconditioned spaces that result in improper air distribution. An effective way to check all ducts is to get your ducts pressure tested using a duct blaster test. Leaking ducts can then be repaired using special metallic backing tape available for the purpose.
2. Reduce cooling costs by buying a programmable thermostat and lower it three degrees at night.
Set it to 80 degrees when you are at home and 90 degrees when you are away to cut down your energy bills.
3. Provide natural shade to all windows, especially the west facing ones using blinds, awnings shade cloth or by designing your garden so that windows are blocked by trees, large bushes or trellises.
4. During summer time, hang your clothes out to dry.
You will save a lot of energy that your dryer consumes and will find the fresh, sun-dried feel of your clothes. If you have to use the dryer, set it on auto-dry rather than setting a timed cycle.
5. Use CFL’s as much as possible all around your home.
Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs are the best way to reduce electric bills. Replace incandescent and other bulbs with these, wherever practical. Install dimmers and timers wherever possible.
6. Use cold or warm water to wash clothes with the exception of soiled and very dirty clothes that need hot water. Always, use cold water for rinsing clothes.
7. An empty refrigerator increases electricity bills.
Keep it full as the mass of all the cooled contents in it help keep the temperature cool. Take care that the refrigerator has a lot of breathing space and clean it’s coils regularly.
8. Use fans in your house.
Fans help circulate air and keep your house cool. Your air conditioner has to work much less if it is accompanied by a ceiling fan.
9. Paint the exterior of your house in white or light colors.
If you have a flat roof, paint the terrace white as well. It will help in reflecting back most of the sun rays and will avoid making your walls too hot. If you have sloping roofs, install light-colored shingles the next time you make changes to it.
10. Insulate to stop heat transfer.
Install insulation in walls, crawl spaces like attics, basements etc. Insulating the ceiling is very cost-effective and stops heat flow from attic into the living and other rooms. If you already have insulation, get it upgraded to an R-38 level which is recommended.
Photo. Jill Wellington