Many people think that by simply installing solar panels on their house that they’re already doing their part to conserve energy – or even more important – save a buck or two on electricity.
Well, they’re right. They’re doing both; but there are ways to maximize your efficiency. As we head into the spring and the weather begins to warm, here are some energy-saving tips for you to consider that can help your cooling system run efficiently and increase the already substantial savings you receive by having solar panels.
Believe it or not, windows are one of the biggest sources of energy loss. Whether it’s hot or cold outside, whether you’re heating or cooling inside – the flow of the air and how it leaks out through windows can add a pretty penny onto the end of your energy bill.
There are many ways to combat this that don’t include buying new windows. One of those is reflective window film that applies directly to the glass and blocks the sun and reduces heat gain. Insulated panels can offer a similar benefit – but in the opposite way. There are also other things such as special curtains, metal wire frames and the like that can help manipulate the heat.
Another worthwhile exercise is to use natural ventilation at night to cool your home (opening all your windows) and then close them and curtain them in the morning to keep the cool air in.
When temperatures rise, it can be tempting to turn up your air conditioner. We’d ask that you resist that urge and set your thermostat to a place where you’re comfortable. When you minimize the difference between the temperature outside and the temperature inside, you will reduce the amount of power that you use – and lower your bill.
Also, most people are beginning to make the investment in a programmable thermostat. This allows you to pre-set your temperatures changes based on the time of day – so when you’re not home, you can turn off the heat. You only use what you actually use.
Fans are wonderfully old and reliable. Their purpose is basic – when you circulate air, you can create a wind chill effect and it makes things feel more comfortable. Ceiling fans are some of the most effective means of doing this – and simply by using them in consort with an automatic thermostat – you can crank up your temperature another 4 degrees without losing comfort. That’s some big savings!
Don’t just rely on your panels to give you maximum energy savings. Some of those old, reliable tricks still work and can add a lot to your sense of comfort. Good luck as the weather warms up!