Here in Olathe, most of us look forward to the beginning of spring and summer. It means the icy cold winter weather is behind us and sunny days are ahead. We can get out on the lawn, fire up the grill, enjoy a picnic, play outdoor sports, take in a ball game, swim at the pool, and do all the other things that make summer in the greater Kansas City area wonderful.
Unfortunately, no sooner do we leave cold weather behind than hot weather begins. We feel it at night when we’re trying to get comfortable at bedtime. We feel it during the day when we do anything to raise the inside temperature of our home by even a few degrees, such as cooking, doing the laundry, or opening the windows to let in some fresh air. And we see it on the energy bill at the end of the month.
Let’s face it: Some of those energy costs can be shocking, especially since the water bill often goes up, too, as we’re more inclined to take showers to cool off, water the lawns, play in the sprinklers, and so forth. Fortunately, here at Davenport Service Company, we love energy-saving tips, so we’ve turned to the experts on the web to find all the latest and greatest advice to help save you money this spring and summer.
We’ve written plenty of other articles in the past covering tips that can help you save on your Olathe heating and cooling bill, but these are all new and well worth remembering. Print this article out and stick it to the fridge, share it on social media, and tell the neighbors. After all, everyone likes to save a few extra bucks!
Check your thermostat placement. Most of the time, thermostats are mounted on the wall somewhere inside the house, and you may not have a lot of control over where it goes. With the rising popularity of smart thermostats with remote temperature sensors, though, you could have greater control over where those sensors are placed. More to the point, you can control what else is around them. Your thermostat or remote sensors shouldn’t be too close to things that give off a lot of heat, such as lamps and TVs.
Use your microwave. We all know that the barbecue grill in the back yard is a great way to cook up a tasty meal without heating up the whole house, but your microwave provides another great option! Your microwave won’t fill the rest of the house with heat, forcing your air conditioner to work harder, and it also uses less energy than the typical stove. When you don’t feel like firing up the grill, warm something up in the microwave instead.
Think about window coverings or awnings. Chances are your windows already have blinds or drapes. Use them, and consider investing in ones with tight weaves, reflective backings, and other light-blocking adaptations. These can deflect sunlight and reduce heat gain inside your house. If you’re still dealing with more heat gain than you’d like, though, you have other options. Window awnings, especially on south- and west-facing windows, can reduce heat gain by as much as 77%, but they require a little more investment than simply putting up a new curtain in the living room.
Replace your refrigerator gasket. Your refrigerator may account for as much as 14% of your home’s electrical bill. That’s a lot, and it gets worse if your fridge isn’t in proper repair. The gasket is the rubber seal around the inside of your refrigerator door. It’s what keeps the cold air in and the warm air out. If it’s leaking, your fridge will have to work harder to maintain its temperature settings and keep your food cool, which, in turn, drives up your utility bills.
Set up a clothesline. We mentioned that anything you do that heats up the house makes your air conditioner work that much harder to cool it back down. One thing that definitely heats up the place is running the dryer. If you have the space to do so, put up a clothesline and use it to dry your clothes whenever you can, especially during the hottest part of the summer.
Wash your clothes in cold water. Check your clothing labels: If you don’t have to use warm or hot water to wash your clothes, you’ll save a bundle over the course of the spring and summer months. Washing in cold water saves on your gas or electric bill because the water heater doesn’t have to run, and it eliminates another possible source of heat within the house that can drive up your Olathe heating and cooling bill.
Don’t hand-wash your dishes. This one might surprise you, but washing your dishes by hand may actually use more water than running the dishwasher—up to 5,000 gallons more per year, assuming you have an Energy Star qualified dishwasher! While you’re at it, let the dishes air dry, rather than using the heated dry function on your dishwasher. Not only will that save you some energy, it’ll also keep heat from dumping into the house that your air conditioner will then have to combat. It’s a win-win!
Keep your air conditioner maintained and save! Regular check-ups are vital to the health and continued functioning of your entire HVAC system. That’s why we strongly recommend our VIP Program, which takes the guesswork out of maintaining your Olathe heating and cooling system. Not only do you keep your air conditioner and furnace running smoothly all year long, you also save on any service visits that you do require throughout the year. That’s a double money-saving tip!
Finally, try to avoid peak energy use times. When you run appliances or other avoidable electronics during peak energy-usage times, it not only drives up your utility bills, it also increases the odds of power outages in your area. When is peak energy usage? Usually, it’s around the time that people get home from work or school, so try to avoid running appliances between 2 PM and 6 PM if you can.
Whether you’re already a member of our HVAC system preventive maintenance VIP Program or would like to sign up today to save money while keeping your air conditioner in tip-top shape all summer long, call Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222 to learn more or schedule your next seasonal maintenance!