According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), HVAC use accounts for nearly half of the average household’s monthly energy bill. In Modesto, CA, the effects of HVAC-related energy consumption are often most apparent during the sweltering months of summer. With daytime temperatures frequently holding steady in the mid-90s, the following are several energy-efficient tips to help you save cash while staying cool.

Install a Smart Thermostat

According to ENERGY STAR, smart thermostats can cut homeowners’ annual heating and cooling costs by as much as 8%. These learning, Wi-Fi-enabled appliances are quickly replacing programmable and standard models in homes nationwide. They minimize the potential for human error and collect and store a lot of helpful information.

Smart thermostats come with branded apps for remote access. When you upgrade to one, you can access, monitor, and adjust this device from any location. Smart thermostats also offer:

  • Energy tracking and reporting
  • HVAC performance alerts
  • Maintenance reminders
  • Indoor air quality alerts
  • Geofencing

With timely notification of problems like high humidity, short cycling, icing, or overheating, you can prevent small and developing issues from spiraling out of control. You can also keep them from having a significant impact on your home energy bill.

Address Unwanted Thermostat Setting Changes

With remote temperature monitoring and control, you won’t have to worry about building residents cranking your thermostat way up or down when you aren’t home. You can adjust and lock temperature settings from work or any other location using an internet-connected device.

Raise Your Thermostat’s Setting Before Going to Work or Bed

According to the DOE, another easy way to reduce your home cooling costs in summer is to raise your thermostat’s setting by seven to 10 degrees before going to bed or leaving for work. This could cut your summertime cooling costs by 10%. With a smart thermostat, you can pre-program scheduled temperature changes like these to eliminate the oversights and errors that often occur with manual setting changes.

The word “smart” isn’t wasted on smart thermostats. These devices constantly monitor resident schedules and behaviors. Over time, they gradually develop the ability to adjust themselves for optimized home comfort and efficiency.

With geofencing, smart thermostats establish virtual perimeters around homes. This way, if residents ever dash off unexpectedly, smart thermostats will make the necessary temperature adjustments as soon as buildings are empty.

Consider the Benefits of Whole-House Fans

Installing a whole-house fan is another great way to reduce your summertime electric bills. According to the DOE, whole-house fans draw outdoor air into homes via opened windows and then vent it through the attic. This allows for rapid indoor cooling while flushing hot, stagnant air out.

Whole-house fans provide a wonderful range of benefits, including significant improvements in home ventilation and indoor air quality. With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reporting indoor air as being two to five times more contaminated than outdoor air, whole-house fans promote increased air exchange and make homes feel cooler with less energy.

Cut Your HVAC-Related Energy Use With Zoning

HVAC zoning is an important heating and cooling system upgrade for larger homes, multi-story homes, and homes with frequently vacant living areas. Zoning divides buildings into two to four separate service areas. The climate in each service area is controlled independently via its own smart thermostat.

If everyone sleeps upstairs at night, you might want to zone your HVAC system for summer savings. With zoning, you can route cool, conditioned air away from unused downstairs areas and cut your AC-related energy use in half. Zoning also allows residents to customize the climate in their immediate areas to their liking. This eliminates arguments over thermostat settings and the need to condition occupied spaces where cooled air isn’t wanted.

HVAC Zoning and Geo-Fencing

In a zoned HVAC system, the benefits of geofencing are greatly increased. The smart thermostats that drive zoned HVAC systems can track residents’ movements from room to room. For instance, if you’re watching television in your living room while enjoying a constant influx of cooled air, your HVAC system will direct conditioned air away from this space when you retire at night and deliver cold air to your bedroom instead.

Schedule Pre-Season AC Tune-up Service

As per the DOE, evenly simply keeping a fresh HVAC air filter in can lower your home cooling costs by 15%. Scheduling routine AC maintenance before the summer season arrives can drop your cooling costs much further. During AC tune-up service, we remove airflow obstructions, clean air handlers, vents, and grilles, calibrate thermostats, and take other steps to improve cooling system performance. Well-maintained air conditioners use far less energy overall and have a much lower likelihood of experiencing mid-season breakdowns.

Take Good Care of Your HVAC Air Ducts

Both the University of Florida and the DOE report that ductwork is responsible for the loss of as much as 40% of the HVAC system’s heating and cooling energy. Much of the energy you’re paying for is lost as conditioned air is routed throughout your living space. You can minimize these losses by having your HVAC ductwork professionally maintained before summer starts. If you haven’t done so already, you should also have your ducting professionally insulated and sealed.

Other Ways to Cut Your Summertime Energy Use

To lower your home cooling costs further, there are also several simple changes that you can make to your indoor activities and your appliance use. For instance, it’s best to reserve hot, steamy cooking projects for cool mornings or late, nighttime hours. This way, heat gains from your oven and stove don’t completely offset the cooling provided by your air conditioner. In fact, during the hottest months of the year, it’s always most efficient to grill or cook foods outdoors or to eke your way through heat waves by noshing on cold cuts and other simple, ready-made foods.

Use Your Window Treatments Strategically

Keep your curtains or blinds closed during the afternoon hours to limit solar heat gains. When the temperature is much cooler in the evening, you can open your blinds to let trapped heat escape. Late afternoon and early evening are also the best times to turn heat pumps and air conditioners off and let whole-house fans work their magic.

Go Solar

Adding solar to your home could greatly reduce your out-of-pocket spending on summertime cooling. With solar energy, you can power your HVAC system with free solar energy during times of peak energy use and higher electricity rates. You can also install a solar battery for long-term solar power storage. This way, you can sell excess energy back to the grid when buy-back rates are at their highest. You can also use solar for your HVAC system’s power supply during nighttime hours and when Modesto is cloudy and overcast.

We’re proud to serve homeowners in Modesto, CA and the surrounding cities. We offer outstanding air conditioning, heating, and duct sealing services. We also provide solar installation, whole-house fans, and smart thermostats. For help cutting your summertime electric bills, get in touch with Loves Air today.

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