Energy usage will most likely spike over the next few days as air-conditioning units, fans and pool pumps work overtime to help Connecticut residents beat the heat. However, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund is offering these tips on how to keep cool and save money as the temperature rises:
- Close drapes or shades on windows that receive direct sun. Up to 15 percent of your cooling can escape through unprotected windows on hot sunny days. At night, open windows when temperatures are cooler to cool the house down.
- A typical ENERGY STAR® ceiling fan will cost approximately $1.50 per month if used 8 hours per day while a window air conditioner can use more than 20 times that amount.
- By raising your thermostat setting on your central air system and using ceiling fans, you can maintain comfort and lower energy costs.
- Direct sunlight on a window air-conditioning unit increases its workload. When a choice is possible, locate air-conditioning units on the north or shady side of the house.
- It’s a waste of money and energy to run your room air conditioner all day long just to cool an empty house. Instead, install an appliance timer on your window air conditioner or use a programmable thermostat on your central air conditioning system. Then, you can activate the unit prior to your arrival.
- Keep your HVAC equipment well-tuned with periodic maintenance by a service professional. If you find that your energy bill is taking a large hit from your outdated, inefficient HVAC system, consider upgrading to a central air conditioning system that is ENERGY STAR-qualified with proper installation.
Right now, all residential CL&P and UI customers are eligible to receive a $250 incentive on HVAC system upgrades that meet the ENERGY STAR-qualified minimum efficiency requirement of 14.5 SEER / 12 EER. In addition, customers who participate in the Energy Efficiency Fund’s Home Energy Solutions (HES) program that upgrade existing working systems within 90 days of their HES service can receive a second $250 rebate, to receive a combined total of $500 in savings.
But, the rebates don’t stop there. Customers who participate in HES and upgrade to the required ENERGY STAR central air system could get another $500 incentive for participating in the Quality Installation Verification (QIV) program, earning a total of $1,000 in rebates. The QIV program includes proper sizing and airflow bringing fewer repairs, longer equipment life expectancy as well as lower energy bills with increased comfort. Ask your HVAC contractor about manufacturer rebates that may be available.
For more information on how to keep cool while staying efficient during the upcoming hot months, please call 1-877-WISE USE, visit www.CTEnergyInfo.com or join in on the energy efficient conversation at www.facebook.com/energyefficiencyct.