It seems like cooling bills just keep going up. In June 2009, Kansas City Power and Light received approval for a combined $154 million rate increase in Missouri and Kansas. Average residential customers in Missouri and Kansas saw a $12.82 and $10.36 increase in their monthly electricity bills, respectively. It’s air conditioning season again and here are some simple ways you can control your utility bills this summer:
Temperature Control — Set your thermostat to 78Â° Fahrenheit. For every degree lower, the energy cost rises by 6 percent. (Source — U.S. Department of Energy website) A programmable thermostat can control temperature with little effort by reducing energy use when your home is unoccupied or your family is sleeping.
Turn The Fan Switch to ON at the Thermostat — by circulating air in the home, you’ll feel cooler, so the temperature won’t need to be set as low. Also, circulating the air makes the temperature more even in the home from room to room and from floor to floor. This won’t affect your air conditioner’s normal functioning as it will cycle on and off to satisfy the thermostat independently of the fan being on. You’ll just feel more comfortable, and have cleaner air to breathe.
Ceiling Fans – make sure your ceiling fan is rotating counter clockwise (when looking up at it). This forces the air down on the people in the room and creates a “wind chill” effect making it feel more comfortable without having to lower the temperature.
Air Conditioner Tune-Up — many people underestimate the importance of annual maintenance for their air conditioner. In addition to safety reasons, a tune-up will ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency, thus saving more money than the cost of the tune up.
Outside Air Conditioner Coil — cotton seed, grass clippings, leaves and dryer lint are common “coil cloggers” that cause your air conditioner to use more electricity than it should. Check your coil frequently and hose it off as you see debris on it.
Filter Maintenance – clean or replace your one-inch air filter monthly because dirty air filters can greatly reduce air flow. This causes the air conditioner to operate longer to satisfy the thermostat and results in more energy use. Airflow problems alone can reduce an air conditioner’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
Hopefully these quick and easy-to-do tips will help you reduce your energy bills this summer.