Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Great Ways To Lower How Much Energy You Use

By Stacey Kawano

With another hot and humid summer approaching, many homeowners are concerned about how much their air conditioners cost to run. Air conditioners are expensive, and consume the most electricity of any other appliance in our homes.

Over 55 percent of homes on Oahu are cooled by air conditioners, including both single window units and central air, a 22 percent increase over the last 25 years. - Hawaii's Energy Future

Running a window unit in a standard bedroom for 8 hours a night can rack up to a $49 monthly bill, depending on its EER. Turning the thermostat a few degrees lower or running it during hotter hours of the daytime can make a dramatic difference in your electricity consumption, which is reflected on your utility bill. Here a few tips to keep in mind to help lower your energy usage this summer while still keeping cool:

- Use fans whenever possible instead of an air conditioner

- Lower the thermostat to lower your energy use

- Install a programmable thermostat to automatically run the unit only when the house is normally occupied.

- Increase the efficiency of your cooling unit by cleaning or replacing filters.

- Take actions to lower the base temperature in your home. Install cooler CFL lights, close blinds, and invest in home window tinting.

- Purchase the right size cooling system for your room or home. HECO offers a calculator to determine the unit size you need and shows the average monthly dollars that it will cost you.

- Make sure to schedule system maintenance with a licensed contractor. Central air users can even qualify for a maintenance rebate.

- Install a PV system on your house.

All of these small but significant changes can help to keep your cooling system from working overtime during these hot summer months. Find more information and further energy saving tips at the Hawaii's Energy Future website.

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