7 Ways to Reduce Energy Bills During Summer Heat

听(Family Features) With temperatures forecasted to run at least 2 degrees higher than historical averages across more than half the country, according to projections from AccuWeather, heat waves may lead to soaring air-conditioning bills this summer.

鈥淭he summer is when we see homeowners strategizing about how to keep their homes cool and comfortable while sticking to their household budgets,鈥 said Michael Williford, HVAC service manager at Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. 鈥淲e work with customers to keep their current HVAC systems running smoothly or upgrade to more efficient systems, which can make a huge difference in their utility bills. In addition, there are many other ways homeowners can keep their energy costs down during the hot summer months.鈥

Consider these smart, practical, cost-cutting tips for dialing down your energy bills.

Service HVAC Systems Regularly

To ensure the best cooling performance and efficiency possible, to keep your heating and cooling system well-maintained and serviced throughout the year. There are some tasks many homeowners can handle on their own, like keeping outdoor units free of debris and changing air filters. However, bringing in a professional 1-2 times a year for maintenance and to ensure proper function of ductwork and electrical components is also essential.

Use Appliances During Non-Peak Hours

Rather than using stoves, ovens and clothing dryers in the afternoon hours, consider doing so early in the morning or late in the evening. Peak time for many electricity providers is , meaning using appliances that heat up your home outside of this timeframe when conventional heating and cooling systems are likely running full throttle can help lower energy costs.

Upgrade Your Systems to an Energy-Saving Heat Pump

The incentivizes homeowners who opt for energy-efficient HVAC upgrades, including qualified heat pumps, which can boost seasonal energy efficiency ratios and increase efficiencies. For example, Mitsubishi Electric heat pumps provide more energy-efficient cooling that may equal cost and energy savings as well as a reduced carbon footprint for homeowners. These systems are equipped with inverter or variable-speed technology that allows systems to automatically ramp up or down the required amount of energy depending on the room鈥檚 capacity. Although annual savings vary, some homeowners can听听by switching to an all-electric heat pump.

Fire Up the Grill

When temperatures soar, use the grill for cooking to help lower energy usage and save on air-conditioning costs. Alternatively, toaster ovens, air fryers and slow cookers use less energy than larger conventional stoves or ovens. Get creative by cooking a pizza in a chiminea or smoking favorite meats as alternatives to using your oven.

Stop Cooling Empty Rooms

One mistake many homeowners make is forgetting to adjust their temperature settings when leaving the house. Whether you鈥檙e headed to the beach for the weekend or just headed to work for the day, blasting the air conditioner in an empty house can result in unnecessarily high utility bills.听Multi-zone, all-electric heat pumps like those from Mitsubishi Electric allow homeowners to set the comfort level and adjust the temperature in each room, so you don鈥檛 have to waste energy cooling unoccupied rooms. With a smartphone app, you can even adjust the settings remotely.

Install a Smart Electric Panel

Installing a smart electrical panel alongside an all-electric heat pump enables homeowners to monitor and control energy consumption on-site or remotely using a smartphone for better overall efficiency and utility cost savings.

Harness the Sun鈥檚 Energy with Solar Panels

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, the amount of sunlight that strikes the Earth鈥檚 surface in 90 minutes could听听for a full year. Investing in solar panels can help decrease energy bills and increase your home鈥檚 sustainability. Additionally, some utility providers and government entities, including the IRA, offer to help reduce installation costs. Plus, solar-sourced power pairs well with all-climate heat pumps, which require minimal electricity to operate.

Find more ideas to dial down energy usage (and bills) this summer at .

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock

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