If you’re like most North Coloradans, you’re looking for ways to lower your energy bill this summer.
A lot of folks associate Colorado with snow, skiing, and crisp temperatures… but since you actually live here, you know just how hot it can get in the summer. At the time of this writing, our forecast is pretty much nothing but 90 degree days for the foreseeable future—no snowmen in sight anytime soon!
Energy costs for air conditioning in Loveland and the surrounding areas are around the national average of 12 cents per kWh, and depending on the size of our homes, we can easily see power bills over $250 or more during the summertime.
The good news?
With a little planning and awareness, you can drop your power bill significantly.
Let’s take a look at seven effective methods Colorado residents are using this summer to save more than just a few bucks on their power bill:
#1 – Get a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is one of the best money-saving home investments you can get. If you don’t have one—or if you do and you just haven’t taken the time to figure out how to program it (admittedly, some of them can be pretty wonky for the inexperienced)—make it a priority.
Here’s why: according to the Department of Energy, programmable thermostats help homeowners save up to 10% on their power bills annually. That’s potentially hundreds of dollars saved every year.
#2 – Replace Your HVAC Air Filters Regularly
In our post Summer HVAC Prep: When to DIY and When to Hire a Pro, the biggest task we point out as being easy to DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is replacing your HVAC system’s air filters.
It’s easy to forget (we suggest putting a note at the end of every month on your calendar), but keeping your air filters clean can net you even more savings than a programmable thermostat: up to 15% per year or more. Bonus, the air quality in your home will be improved.
#3 – Install Thermal Curtains
Thermal curtains, sometimes referred to as insulated drapes, are a very affordable one-time investment that will serve you year round. In the winter, they’ll keep the heat in your house. In the summertime like it is now, they block heat out.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to live in the darkness all summer—keeping thermal curtains closed in areas of the home you aren’t using will have an effect on the entire home. You can also keep them closed during the daytime while you’re gone.
#4 – Upgrade to Energy Efficient Windows
While initially this is one of the more costly upgrades recommended on this list, over time energy efficient windows can save you a bundle. ENERGY STAR estimates that replacing single-pane windows with qualified energy saving windows can save the typical homeowner between $126-465 per year.
#5 – Circulate Cool Air With Ceiling Fans
This is a pretty basic tip, but don’t underestimate the ability of your ceiling fans to provide a little relief to your air conditioning system. Since they circulate cool air throughout the house, especially in the higher areas where heat accumulates, ceiling fans reduce the work your air conditioner has to do.
#6 – Change a Few of Your Habits
A few easy habits you can change during the summer months can prevent your air conditioner from working harder than it has to. For example, try to avoid cooking indoors using your stovetop or oven during the hottest parts of the afternoon. Pre-make meals early in the morning or during the evening, or take advantage of an outdoor grill.
If you have an upstairs and a downstairs, try staying downstairs whenever possible. Heat rises, so the downstairs will almost always be cooler. If there are unused rooms upstairs, you can close off their vents and keep the door shut.
#7 – Get Your HVAC System Maintained Regularly
We’re not just making this suggestion because it’s what we do—regular service will make absolutely sure that your HVAC system is working at peak efficiency.
Even if you don’t have any existing problems, scheduling a “checkup” at least once every two years (or, ideally, annually) will catch problems before they become worse and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system. For your air conditioning, professional maintenance appointments usually involve cleaning your outdoor air conditioning coils, making sure your voltage connections are working properly, inspecting refrigerant levels, and more.
Make Sure Your Air Conditioning Will Be Reliable All Summer Long
With summer in full swing, following the energy saving tips outlined above is more important than ever. To get the most out of your HVAC in Windsor or wherever you are in Northern Colorado, consider reaching out to the team at Best Buy Heating and Air.
Stay cool out there, Colorado!