The sunny skies of the summer months signal the beginning of outdoor barbecues, kids playing outside and summer vacations. It also brings us our hottest months of the year, leading many utility customers to turn down their thermostat to cool their home. The City of Thomasville encourages its customers to be sure energy efficiency is top of mind to help lessen the impact of increased utility usage that may occur during the hot summer months.
“When it is hot outside, we know our customers can sometimes have higher usage than normal, which can cause their utility bills to also be higher,” said Stephan Thompson, Energy Services Advisor. He added that there are many ways to incorporate small changes to assist with lowering your energy consumption. Such small changes can yield big savings overall, and include:
- Set manual thermostats to 78 degrees in the summer and make the most of programmable and smart thermostats, which help decrease energy use based on your lifestyle.
- Utilize ceiling fans when possible. Keeping the air moving with a fan ceiling fan can make your space feel up to 5° F cooler, keeping you comfortable and relaxed.
- To help your HVAC unit run more efficiently, change standard air filters once a month or pleated filters once every three months. It is also important to have your air conditioner professionally serviced to ensure it is running efficiently. Trim plants around outside units so they can receive proper air flow as well.
- Keep blinds closed and curtains drawn when it is sunny out. The rays from the sun can bring extra heat to your home.
- Turn off lights when they are not in use and change your light bulbs to LED bulbs. They use 90 percent less energy than standard bulbs.
- Make sure furniture, curtains, rugs, and other items do not block vents and return air registers to help your heating and cooling system operate more efficiently.
- Caulk and weather-strip around your windows and doors. If the caulking is cracked, or the weather-stripping is damaged or peeling, replace the old material.
- Reducing your hot water heater temperature to 120° F can cut its energy usage in half.
- Wash full loads of clothes with cold water and avoid over-drying. Also, clean the lint trap before every load.
- Fix leaking toilets and sinks. A leaking toilet can cost you $43 per month and a leaking sink will cost you over $20 per month.
City of Thomasville Utilities offers two free services to help increase the energy efficiency within your home, the Home Energy Calculator and in-home energy checkups. “The Home Energy Calculator is available on our website, Thomasville.org. It is a way for customers to become more informed on easy, low or no cost changes they can make within their home to reduce their electric consumption and save on their bottom line,” said Thompson. “The Home Energy Calculator provides residential customers with a complete analysis of their energy use based on simple information they provide.”
Customers who are interested in an even more personalized, hands-on analysis of their utility consumption may benefit from an in-home energy checkup. “An in-home energy checkup takes a closer look at your home’s energy efficiency, including the HVAC unit, insulation, and numerous other factors that can affect energy utilization. Once the audit is complete, a detailed analysis and possible solutions are provided,” said Thompson.
“We would like to invite our customers to join us on Tuesday, July 20th at 5:30 p.m. at Harper Elementary School for ‘Let’s Discuss…Lowering Your Utility Bill While Temperatures Rise: Summer Energy Efficiency Tips.’ We’ll share additional energy efficiency tips and provide information on other budget friendly services offered by the City of Thomasville Utilities,” said Thompson.
For more information on energy efficiency or to schedule a free home energy checkup, visit Thomasville.org or contact Stephan Thompson at 229-227-3384.