8 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat
Taking a few steps to save energy in your home can also lead to reducing your electric bill. As a not-for-profit cooperative, we educate members about ways to save energy in their homes. Jackson EMC also offers services to help members with their energy efficiency projects, such as rebates.
Follow these tips to reduce your energy use, and in turn, your monthly bill.
- Be smart about cooling and heating. In summer, set your thermostat to 78 degrees. Lower settings increase operating costs by approximately 5% for every degree below 78 degrees. Keep your home warmer than normal when you’re away, and you’ll see significant savings on heating and cooling costs. In winter, set your thermostat to 68 degrees. As a rule of thumb, your heating cost will increase 3% for each degree above 68 degrees.
- Use smart thermostats. Smart thermostats conserve energy by customizing heating and cooling based on your patterns and preferences. Members can save on smart thermostats with an instant rebate from Jackson EMC Marketplace – our online energy efficiency store. Visit the store at jacksonemcmarketplace.com.
- Maintain your cooling and heating euipment. Check air filters every 1-2 months and replace when dirty. Clogged air filters restrict airflow and cause your compressor to work harder. Clean filters save 5-15% on your electric bill. Jackson EMC offers an affordable service from our partner Filterchange.coop that will ensure you always have a clean filter at a low price. Get a performance checkup of your heating and cooling system every six months. Call an HVAC professional for semi-annual checkups and maintenance to ensure your system operates at peak performance. To find a qualified contractor near you, see our participating contractor network at jacksonemc.com/contractors.
- Keep conditioned air in your home. Add caulking or weather stripping around doors, windows and attic access doors where air leaks out. Check the bottoms of doors to make sure thresholds seal when closed. Check for proper ventilation in attics
and crawl spaces. Proper ventilation reduces moisture build-up in the summer and winter. For DIY projects to keep conditioned air in your home, visit jacksonemc.com/diy.
- Use good habits for savings. Turn off lights, appliances and tools when not in use. In addition, unplug devices when not in use. “Vampire energy” is the electricity consumed by appliances and equipment that are turned off but still plugged in. This wasted energy can cost $100-200 a year. Use shades, blinds and curtains to your advantage. In summer, tilt blinds up to divert heat away. In winter, keep curtains open and tilt blinds down to let warmth in. Close them at night to prevent heat loss.
- Save on water heating costs. Set the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees for energy efficiency. On average, water heating typically accounts for an average of 13-15% of the energy consumed in your home. Check the efficiency of your water heater. Replace old water heaters with new high-efficiency models. Shop for a high insulation R-value in the tank wall and a good warranty (10 years and up). Jackson EMC offers rebates for members replacing old water heaters with higher-efficiency electric models. Visit jacksonemc.com/rebates for details.
- Change light bulbs. Switch from incandescent to LED bulbs. On average, LED bulbs use 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 3-25 times longer. To view deals on LED bulbs, visit jacksonemcmarketplace.com.
- Consider replacing older equipment. Replacing an older HVAC with a high efficiency electric heat pump can reduce
your heating bill by as much as 50%. Jackson EMC offers rebates on qualified heat pumps. Learn more at jacksonemc.com/rebates.