To help keep energy costs down this summer, Connecticut Better Business Bureau recommends consumers stay up-to-date on the latest energy-efficient systems, service their AC unit yearly and follow simple do-it-yourself tips.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than half of the electricity used in a typical home goes toward heating and cooling. Americans typically spend about 46 cents of every dollar in utility bills for "space conditioning.”
Here are some ways to cut back on excessive energy use:
Consider a new energy-efficient system: By choosing a more energy-efficient system, you will spend less money to heat and cool your home. Ask about the EnergyGuide Label. This explains how much energy a particular appliance uses compared to others.
Perform a home energy assessment: A home energy assessment will look at the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems in addition to areas where your home is wasting energy. This assessment can either be done by a professional or you can choose to do it yourself.
For step-by-step directions on performing a home assessment yourself, visit the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. If you want to hire a professional, get at least three quotes and references, and check out the company at http://www.bbb.org.
Simple DIY energy-saving tips: There are other, less costly alternatives that can help consumers save on their energy costs. The following steps can help lower your energy use and save money:
•Keep your system well-maintained and service your unit at least once a year.
•Change air filters on a regular basis.
•Check your attic, attic stairway, attached garage walls and basement to ensure that you have proper insulation.
•Get a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to preset the temperature to increase or decrease when you’re not home or at night.
•Prune back shrubs that may block airflow to your air conditioner or heat pump.
•Consider installing ceiling fans. Their air circulation promotes cooling in the summer and heating efficiency in the winter.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit http://www.bbb.org.