I was taught growing up to always make sure the air conditioner was off before we left the house in order to conserve energy and save money on our utility bill. It was something that was so ingrained in my mind that I still turn the AC off before I leave the house or at night once it’s start cooling down. Little did I know that you actually save money when you don’t turn the air conditioner off! Did you know that? This is one of the many amazing energy efficiency tips energy efficiency expert Bobby DiFulgentiz shared during our interview on how to save money on your utility bill! Be sure to watch the video below and read Bobby’s great tips, below.
Candace Rose: How can homeowners save money on their energy bills this summer?
Bobby DiFulgentiz: “What I like to tell homeowners is to focus small to save big. One of the things, when I talk to them – they are daunted by the fact that they can’t control their energy usage and they can’t control their utility bills. There’s a lot of small things that you can do!
- The first thing I point to is the air filter. Make sure that you change your air filter once every one to two months. You don’t want that clogging up and restricting the air flow and making your system run too long.
- The other thing you can do is make sure you seal in your home. The last thing you want is to run your AC system, cool your house and let that air escape. Go to a local home department store, buy some caulk and fill in cracks around windows, in the bricks – that’s going to make a big impact.
- You can also buy some insulation. Go in the attic, put that insulation in, put it in the basement. Again, you’re going to seal that home up and make sure that you’re not wasting cooling, you’re not cooling a house that’s just going to go outside.
- Another thing is the thermostat. A thermostat is one of the most important things to make sure you understand in the house because 50% of your energy bill comes from heating and cooling the home. One degree difference from where you usually set the thermostat can lead to one percent energy savings. Think about that, if you raise your temperature three degrees up, you may be able to turn your ceiling fan on and not even know the difference, but get the energy savings. Understanding how all of that works can make a big impact and help you make good decisions to save energy on your summer utility bills.”
Candace Rose: Is it too late to do summer maintenance to help save on energy bills?
Bobby DiFulgentiz: “There’s never a bad time to do it. Right now we’re just getting into the summer hot months, there’s still a long way to go. No time is really a bad time to do it. You’re going to get those benefits year round. Whether it’s summer, winter, you’re sealing in your house. You’re adding insulation, you’re changing your air filters – the benefit is an annual thing. One thing I would recommend is make sure you have a service professional come out. Make sure they are maintaining and tuning up your system so you’re ready for the hot summer months and ready for the cold winter months. Your AC and your heating system is a machine just like your car. You would get oil changes in your car, you need tuneups, you need maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment so you’re ready for them to run efficiently when it gets really hot or really cold.”
Candace Rose: What are the latest trends in energy efficiency?
Bobby DiFulgentiz: “One of the biggest trends that’s going on in the house right now is things are getting smarter. Whether it’s a smart thermostat like the Lennox iComfort WiFi, where you can control it from your smartphone or it’s lights that you can control from your smartphone – these devices are getting so much smarter and they’re bringing control to the homeowner. A homeowner has control whether they’re at home, on vacation, they’re at work, they’re on their way home from work – they have control to lower their energy usage, to lower their utility bills like they never had before. The trend is really towards smartphones (there’s an app for everything), your home is no different. All appliances, all products are getting smarter and now is the time to look at possibly purchasing one of those if you really want to take control of your energy usage.”
Candace Rose: What is the biggest mistake that people make when it comes to saving money on their energy bills?
Bobby DiFulgentiz: “Lennox just did a survey, a home energy card survey where we looked at how homeowners are from an energy efficiency standpoint, we let them grade themselves. One of the things that they admitted to doing 39% of the time is turning off your AC system. That’s the last thing you want to do. You don’t want to turn off the system because what that’s going to do, is it allows you if you forget to run up the temperatures that are way too high for your home, and it’s just going to take the AC system that much longer to bring them back down to where you’re comfortable. You’re much better served just raising the temperature about six to eight degrees over where you would normally keep it, that way you get the energy savings but you’re also at a place where you can get it back to comfortable in a short amount of time and you’re not putting your system through a big stress period to get it back to where you’re comfortable.”
Candace Rose: If you can only do one thing to improve energy efficiency and keep bills low, what would it be?
Bobby DiFulgentiz: “It would be to realize that 50% of your bill comes from heating and cooling the house, so have somebody come out and tune up your system before the hot summer months or before the winter months because again your AC system is a machine, you have to have regular maintenance. Other tips are available at Lennox.com. It’s a great website for homeowners and there’s also a really cool contest going on because a lot of homeowners have a lot of good ideas for energy efficiency that they have that they use at their house. They can enter the contest and win $10,000 worth of heating and cooling equipment.”