At Rittenhouse, we’re always reminding our customers to conserve however possible. For us, that usually means we provide conservation tips for keeping warm in the winter. However, after a brutal winter, we want to offer some “cool” ideas that will save our customers money—even if it is our off-season.
System Maintenance First and Foremost
Perhaps the easiest and best way to ensure savings on your energy bills this summer is to schedule a tune-up for your air conditioner. The last thing you want is to switch on your A/C on that first sweltering summer day, only to find that it’s broken or just blowing hot air. Call Rittenhouse Comfort and Energy Services to schedule a tune-up at 410-665-1660. A certified expert will examine your system and ensure that it is operating as efficiently as possible.
Windows Make Conservation a Breeze
Use windows to naturally cool your house and block out heat. During cool Maryland nights in spring and early summer, open your windows while sleeping. In the morning, close the windows and use blinds or drapes to block the sunlight from entering. You’ve captured cool air that can really make a difference throughout the day.
When you don’t need the A/C, use natural ventilation to keep cool air flowing through your home. When a cool breeze enters through first floor windows, it absorbs the heat in the room and rises. Make sure your upstairs windows are open as well, so that the heat can escape like smoke out a chimney!
Your Thermostat Makes a Big Difference
Setting the thermostat as high as comfortably possible will obviously save you money on energy bills. But many people don’t realize that 1°F can make a difference of about 3% per day! A programmable thermostat can make it very easy to monitor your home’s cooling efficiency. Turn the temperature up slightly while you’re at work, then back down an hour or so before you get home. You could realize a savings of up to 10%.
Do not set your thermostat at a very cold setting in the hopes of speeding the cooling process. This will not cool your home any faster and will be more expensive!
Use Fans to Keep It Chill
In the winter, we talk about “spot-heating” to cut back on heating costs. The opposite is true during the warm months. Use “spot-ventilation” to cool off. Ever notice how the beach usually feels cooler even though the temperatures might be the same? The ocean breeze acts as a natural fan to cool beachgoers without actually lowering temperatures. Use fans and spot-ventilation to create the same result.
A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Fans use a wind chill effect to make you feel cooler, when the room is actually not. This means that you should turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room; their cooling effect won’t follow you!
Of course, the larger the fan blade, the better the effect. Large fans also require less speed to maintain the same comfort level, so you won’t feel like a 747 is taking off in your living room.