COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's the first time we're seeing temperatures reach near 90 degrees for the season. At the same time, energy rates are rising.
When it comes to cooling your home and keeping costs down, there are some misconceptions.
10TV asked Matt Tyner of Buckeye Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, Kyle Forsythe, a team leader at Atlas Butler and Robert Williams from Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission on what really works to increase your home energy efficiency.
“Equipment will last 25-30 years. That is still a common misconception,” said Forsythe. “We expect maybe 13 years out of a heat pump. AC is about the same. Furnace, 15 years.”
The key to this, he said, is staying up on maintenance.
Experts also advise against using a thermostat schedule that changes the setting at night or when you're not home during the day.
“The energy that you may save by allowing the system to turn off during the day while you go to work and then turning it back on at night, would be different for each home depending on how well it's insulated but that's something that I wouldn't necessarily buy into,” Forsythe said.
"The most energy that your HVAC system is using is right at startup. So if it has to turn off, turn on, turn off and on, then it puts a lot of stress on your system that's not needed,” said Tyner.
And a third misconception: the cooler you set the thermostat the harder the system will work to keep your home cool.
"These HVAC systems are really designed to be able to maintain the temperature about 20 degrees cooler inside than it is outside,” said Tyner. “So when it does go into the mid to high 90s that's when we really make the recommendations to clients don't start setting your thermostat cooler and cooler and cooler thinking that's going to get the system to work harder and harder and harder, because most likely, it's working as hard as it can already.”
If you need help increasing energy efficiency in your home, MORPC helps hundreds of people a year do just this.
"What a lot of people don't realize is that weatherization, they generally think of that as something that is helpful only in the wintertime. But it's extremely helpful in the summertime too because that same insulation that we put in the homes that helps keep the hot air in in the wintertime helps keep the cool air in in the summertime,” said Williams.
So, what can you do about this today? Utilize a ceiling fan.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort.
Keep shutters closed to block sunlight if you don't have shutters use blinds or curtains.