These energy tips from York Electric Cooperative can help you save money on heating, cooling, lighting, and cooking at your home:
- Electric Heat Pumps
- Keeping Cool
- Keeping Warm
You’ll also find energy-saving tips for your home on the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina website.
Not only will you spend less on home energy and help the environment, you will also increase the comfort of your home and make it more enjoyable.
Electric Heat Pumps
South Carolina’s mild, seasonal climate, heating and cooling with an electric heat pump makes good sense. It provides superior comfort and lower operating costs; plus it’s safe, clean, and reliable — the most efficient kind of heating and cooling unit on the market today.
The electric heat pump’s operation and efficiency come from a principle known as heat transfer. Rather than creating heat, the electric heat pump uses existing heat and simply moves it to the desired location. The result is a constant, comfortable flow of air into the home.
The beauty of an electric heat pump is that in the summer, the process can be reversed by the touch of a switch on the home’s indoor thermostat, providing year-round comfort and possible savings.
When it comes to cooling your home during the hot South Carolina summer, making just a few energy efficient changes can really pay off:
- Insulate your home as much as you can. That makes a big difference whether heating or cooling.
- Set your thermostat at the highest temperature setting at which you’re comfortable. Cooling costs can be reduced by about 5 percent for every 2 degrees higher you set your unit. And keep heat-producing items like televisions and lamps away from thermostats.
- Light bulbs throw off heat. Keep them off during the day as much as you can. Drapes, blinds, and shades also should be shut during the hottest hours, if possible.
- Humidity is also a factor. Bathing, mopping, and dish washing early in the morning or in the evening instead of during the day will help. (During the hottest months, it is even better if you can use an outside clothesline to avoid adding heat to your house.)
- Light exteriors reflect the sun’s rays, while dark colors absorb them. If your roof is dark-colored, a well-ventilated attic can ease heat buildup on sunny days.
- Use an air conditioner with an efficiency rating of 12 or higher. Window units are rated by their Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER, while central systems use a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER. Also, window units are designed to cool only one room at a time, so choose the size you need with that in mind. And central air conditioners, if they’re too big, will waste energy and not dehumidify correctly.
- Maintain cooling systems properly. Hang, clean, or replace filters regularly. Window units generally have filters behind the front panel, and they need to be cleaned with soap and water. On outside heat exchangers, use a brush to clean the coils.
Don’t be fooled by South Carolina’s mild winters. You still use your heating system about five months of the year. A few energy-conserving measures can make a real difference:
- Caulking and/or weather-stripping around all your doors, windows, exhaust vents, and other openings that allow cold air to leak into your house can save a lot in energy costs. And don’t worry about sealing your home up too tightly; for as many leaks as you can find, there will always be a few that you can’t find or fix.
- Check your exterior doors. If you can see light or can feel air coming in around them, you probably need to replace the thresholds and/or door sweeps.
- Seal around plumbing entrances under sinks and vanities and around bathtubs and showers.
- Place foam gaskets under the electrical outlet covers to cut down on air infiltration. You will be surprised at the amount of outside air that gets in, even through the inside walls of your home.
- Check for proper insulation in the attic and floors and good seals around doors, windows, and ductwork.
- Check and clean or replace climate-control system filters.
- Choose the lowest comfortable winter thermostat setting. For each degree you lower the thermostat, you can reduce the cost of heating your home by as much as 3 percent.
Energy Use FAQ
Yes. York Electric offers a free in-home energy audit. All you have to do is call our member services department at 803-684-4248 and tell them you are interesting in scheduling one.
The ideal setting is 78 degrees for cooling and 65 degrees for heating.
Yes. In order to qualify for York Electric’s Residential All Electric rate, you must have an all electric home and be an individually-metered residential member living in a residence, mobile home, condominium or apartment that meets certain energy efficiency requirements. These requirements apply to heat pumps, water heaters and other factors that affect the energy efficiency of your home. To find out more about qualifying for this special rate, please contact our member services department at 803-684-4248.
Yes, it can. You can save by using your current spotlights less, converting your current spotlights to 23 watt compact fluorescent spots, and by installing motion sensors so the lights only work when motion is detected.
Conserving energy is always a good idea. York Electric has a free 101 low-cost/no-cost home energy savings measures brochure. Visit one of our offices to pick up a copy or download here. Also, visit TogetherWeSave.com and take the home tour to learn what actions you can take to save on your energy bill.
The value of electricity remains very high. The national cost of electricity today, when adjusted for inflation, is less than what it was in 1980. Very few commodities have remained such a good value. Compared to other consumer products and services, electricity is a bargain.