Summertime in the South brings sunshine, warm temperatures and humid days, which can lead to an increase in energy consumption to help offset the uncomfortable weather. Entergy Arkansas offers some simple steps that can make your home’s cooling unit more efficient and help keep bills lower through the hottest months of the year.
Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or the highest comfortable temperature. Each degree lower than 78 can raise your bill as much as 3 percent. If you set the air-conditioning to a cooler 72 degrees, you’ve already increased your bill by 18 percent.
Buy a programmable thermostat, which can adjust the temperature for the hours you’re home and when you’re out.
Use fans to cool off, but remember – fans cool people, not rooms. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity to circulate the air, which helps you feel several degrees cooler. To save more energy, be sure to turn them off when you leave the room.
Close blinds, shades and draperies to keep the sun out and the cool air in. Also, close air conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and ductwork. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air in and the hot air out.
Make sure air coming into your home is clean and healthy. Some air conditioning units require monthly cleaning or filter replacement to filter the air and keep the unit running efficiently. An inspection by an HVAC professional could also help