As the summer heat starts to rise here in Newbury Park, CA, homeowners are beginning to see their electricity bills rising, too. This is because air conditioners are one of the largest residential energy consumers, accounting for up to 27% of a home’s energy bills.

That makes every opportunity for summer energy savings important to take advantage of. Fortunately, the experts here at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning know every energy-saving trick in the book. Here are the 10 best ways to save money on your electricity bills in the summer heat.

1. Get an AC Tune-up

The most important thing you can do to save on your electric bills this summer is to get an AC tune-up service. Doing so helps make sure your AC runs at peak efficiency, which has an outsize impact on your electricity consumption. Something as simple as a dirty AC air filter can add between 5% and 15% to your electricity consumption. Plus, it’s essential to make certain your AC isn’t low on refrigerant or suffering from any other efficiency-sapping problems.

2. Raise Your Thermostat

As tempting as it is to turn your thermostat way down to escape the summer heat, you shouldn’t. Instead, you should figure out the highest temperature you can stand while remaining comfortable in your home and set your thermostat there. Experts calculate that you can save between 10% and 15% on your electricity bills for each degree above 75 you set your thermostat.

3. Eliminate Phantom Power Drains

Did you know that many of the devices you leave plugged in at home consume electricity even when they’re turned off? For example, modern televisions don’t turn off but enter a kind of standby mode when you press the power button. And all of the device chargers you leave plugged in draw electricity even when you’re not charging anything. Combined, such phantom power drains might account for up to 10% of your monthly electricity bills — so start unplugging things!

4. Install Ceiling Fans

As it turns out, humans aren’t great at perceiving temperature. Variances in humidity play a huge role in how hot we think it is. So does wind speed. The good news is that you can exploit that weakness to save some money. You can do this by installing ceiling fans in your home and using them to circulate air in your rooms.

This will reduce your need for air conditioning by making you feel cooler even at higher indoor temperatures. However, since fans don’t cost as much to operate as your AC, this allows you to raise your thermostat even higher, saving you more money.

5. Close Blinds and Curtains During the Day

You can also save electricity this summer by closing as many of your windows’ blinds and curtains during the day as possible. Doing so can reduce the added heat generated by the sun streaming through your windows.

It can make a bigger difference than you think, too. A sunny window with open curtains can add about 120 BTUs of heat per hour to your home. When you multiply that by the number of sunny windows in your home, the opportunity for savings should be quite obvious.

6. Have More Cookouts

The average home’s kitchen contributes a significant portion of its heat load. That’s due to the large, heat-generating appliances found there. Therefore, reducing your kitchen usage in the summer months can lower your AC demand and save you more money. However, you can’t stop eating for the summer, so you’ll still need to cook. The solution is to have as many summer cookouts and barbecues as you can. Each time you do this, you’ll save a bit of money on your electricity bill.

7. Air-Dry Your Laundry

Another appliance that you should avoid using in the summer is your clothes dryer. If you have a gas-powered dryer, it will contribute plenty of extra heat to your home for your AC to remove. And if you have an electric dryer, it’s even worse because it will add heat and raise your electric bill on its own, too. So, you should try and air-dry your clothes outside during the summer to avoid that. Or, you can dry them indoors on a drying rack if the outside’s not an option for you.

8. Reduce Your Water Heater Temperature

Another great way to save money on your power bill in the summer is to lower your water heater’s standby temperature. Most residential water heaters come pre-set to deliver hot water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, that’s great for nice hot showers to beat the cold. However, in the summer, it’s not necessary. If you lower your water heater’s standby temperature to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you likely won’t notice much of a difference and you’ll save significantly on your electricity bills, too.

9. Install a Smart Thermostat

If you’re willing to make a small investment to save on your electricity bills, you should consider installing a smart thermostat. By doing so, you’ll give your AC an inexpensive efficiency upgrade that will pay dividends all summer. Smart thermostats do this by learning your comfort preferences and schedule and altering your AC usage to match. That alone can result in electricity savings of up to 15%. Plus, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice any comfort to attain those savings. You’ll even gain the ability to control your home’s AC system from a smartphone, no matter where you roam.

10. Invest in a Mini-Split

Perhaps the best way to save money on your electricity bills this summer is to upgrade to a more efficient AC system. If your home has a forced-air central AC system, an upgrade to a heat pump should result in significant energy savings. Better yet, though, you might consider investing in a new mini-split AC system.

They’re ductless AC systems that offer more precise indoor temperature control and superior flexibility compared to conventional central AC. Plus, they’re ductless, which eliminates the energy waste associated with ductwork losses. That can give them up to a 30% efficiency advantage compared to conventional central AC systems. And they also make it possible for you to cool only the rooms you’re using, which can significantly lower your cooling costs this summer.

Consult the AC Experts

As you can see, there are plenty of excellent ways to trim your electricity bills this summer. And the experts at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with many of them. We offer comprehensive HVAC services, including installation, maintenance, and repair. Plus, we handle heat pumps, ductless systems, and even whole-house fans.

We’re also a family-owned and locally operated HVAC company with over 50 combined years of experience on staff. We even offer financing on approved credit to help you afford the HVAC systems and upgrades you want and need. So, for HVAC efficiency, system upgrades, and more, call Southland Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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