How Your Appliances Affect Cooling and Energy Efficiency
Appliances, from air conditioners to dishwashers, make life more convenient, but they can also represent a drain on your wallet. If you don’t use your appliances efficiently, you are wasting money that you could put toward the finer things in life — whether you’re craving a vacation this summer or a new flat-screen television. Follow these tips to make the appliances in your Delray Beach, Florida, home more efficient and less expensive.
Unplug Appliances You Only Use Occasionally
Turning off an unused appliance might curb your energy consumption somewhat, but the cord will still draw an electric current from your home’s power system. Instead of just hitting the “off” button, unplug them from the wall. For instance, maybe you only use the television in your bedroom on weekends when you want to relax in front of a movie, or perhaps you rarely use your toaster oven even though it sits on your counter. Unplug them to stop that waste of energy. Small changes add up to make a difference on your energy bill.
Replace Your Air Filters Regularly
A clogged air filter contributes to dust, pet dander, and other debris in the air. It can also reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency because it blocks air flow through the register. The frequency with which you will need to replace your air filter depends on several factors, including:
- The type of filter
- The number of people in your home
- Whether you have pets
- Your lifestyle habits (e.g., smoking, cooking)
To help keep your electric bills manageable, replace your air filter whenever it gets dirty. It only takes a minute to check, and you could shave valuable dollars off your monthly expenses.
Run Major Appliances at Night
Your dishwasher, washing machine, and clothes dryer help you keep your belongings clean, but running them during the day can increase your electric bills, particularly because doing so adds to the heat in your home. This creates more work for your air conditioner. Consider running them at night instead. Many electric service providers offer reduced rates for specific hours, such as between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Additionally, avoid running partial loads of laundry or dishes. In addition to wasting electricity, you’ll also see your water bill skyrocket. You won’t realize the energy efficiency benefits or your dishwasher if you’re running the appliance with just a few items.
Create a Clothes Line
Your dryer also produces heat which forces your air conditioning unit to work harder. Your clothes dryer might prove convenient, but it costs money. During the spring and summer, consider uses a clothes line to dry your clothing. In addition to saving money, you’ll infuse your garments with that fresh air smell. Try other non-heat-generating solutions as well, such as drying your dishes with a towel or using a countertop dish drainer instead of the dishwasher.
Look for Energy Star Appliances
When you’re ready to replace your appliances, don’t choose the least expensive model from the catalog. Instead, look for products with the Energy Star label. These products have undergone testing and met specific benchmarks for energy efficiency. You might have to pay a slightly higher sticker price, but you’ll save money in the long run.
You can also save money simply by upgrading an older appliance. New technology has produced faster, more efficient appliances.
Cook Meals in the Microwave or Outside
The oven and stove don’t just consume electricity or natural gas as they cook your food. They also heat up your kitchen — sometimes to unbearable levels. Consider using the microwave instead.
You might also cook your meals outdoors on a charcoal or gas grill. Grilling becomes particularly attractive because it’s fun and adds significant flavor to your favorite foods. Alternatively, look for cold options for your meals, such as salads, which will help you keep cool while you save energy.
Your appliances should help, rather than hinder, your progress toward a more efficient, cost-effective lifestyle. We can help you to upgrade your HVAC system with modern, more efficient alternatives. Call Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Inc. at 561-202-1422 to schedule an appointment today.
Image provided by Shutterstock