Landscaping can help you save energy in your home.
The weather changes with each season and so should our home energy habits. We should make sure our habits adapt to each season, so here are a few suggestions to consider for the upcoming warm weather season.
A heat wave assaults the senses. You can feel the warmth on your skin, odors intensify, and you can see the heat rising from the pavement, bending upward in the sizzling temperatures.
What’s that you’re hearing? It’s your air conditioner running and the sound of your bank account drying up.
Heating and air conditioning your home can account for almost half of your home’s energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here’s how to cut those costs during the summer:
Improve plantings around your home
Most heat that accumulates inside a house comes directly from the sun shining on the roof or through the windows. Planting leafy trees around the exterior of your house helps block the sun from heating the inside of your home.
Even for the cost of going to the nursery and buying a 15-to-20-foot tall tree, this is still the best value.
If the tree or shrubs shade your air conditioner, you could increase your AC’s efficiency by up to 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Invest in window screens
Solar screens, or mesh-like window screens, intercept up to 70 percent of solar energy before it gets into the house. The Department of Energy says window screens are particularly effective on east-and-west-facing windows.
Window films are another option. They are transparent, metalized sheets that reflect heat before it can be transmitted through glass. However, windows must be shut for window films to work, while solar screens do double duty, keeping sun and insects out, even with the windows open.
Skip the boiling and baking
Skip the stove-top boiling and oven baking during hot spells. Reduce indoor heat by making microwave nachos or eating a cool salad. If you must boil pasta for tomorrow’s potluck, cook in the evening.
After cooking, turn on the kitchen exhaust, and turn on the bathroom exhaust after a hot shower.
Pay attention to speeds
Put the AC fan speed on high, except on especially humid days, says the U.S. Department of Energy. On humid days, place the speed on low. The slower the air movement through the air-conditioning equipment removes more moisture from the air, improving comfort in your home.
Don’t be quick to switch it on
Step in the shower, spray yourself with a water bottle, or use a cool cloth on the back of your neck. If you don’t cool off right away, don’t give up. Your comfort range depends on the temperatures you have experienced in recent days and weeks; changing habits takes time.
Tap into your HEC Energy Advisor Resources
Let us help with your plan for energy efficiency. Has your energy use been fluctuating? Are you looking for a practical way to save on your electric bill? Log onto http://www.horryelectric.com and try out these tips:
- Sign up for Beat the Peak
- Enter your information and we’ll either call, text, or email you when we’re about to experience a “peak” time
- This means we’re expecting extremely high temperatures and members to be using lots of power during this time
- We will give you some tips on how to help us Beat the Peak and lower the load on our system
- Call us about our H2O Select program
- If you’re in need of a new hot water heater, we offer rebates of $125 and $250 for qualifying installations
- Members must agree to the installation of a load management control device
- Take advantage of our Home Energy Suite
- The Energy Advisor offers savings tips, an energy forecast and more.
- You can also enter all the information about your home and the Energy Advisor will help generate your bill analysis
- Other calculators are also included:
You can always call our HEC Energy Advisors at 843-269-2211 if you have any questions.