Ah, summertime. The time of year when air conditioners are on full blast and families are flocking to the pool or beach. If you haven’t already noticed how hot it’s been this season, then you certainly will when you receive your next energy bill. You don’t need to have a hefty bill just to stay cool. Here are our tips for saving energy in your home this summer while keeping costs down.
Stop hot air from entering your home
You might not realize it, but there’s likely pesky hot hair leaking into your home through windows. About 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost that way. You can stop this from happening by installing window coverings like drapes, shades, plastic films, shutters, awnings, or storm windows.
Heat is also able to make its way into your home through cracks. You may want to consider hiring a weatherization expert to assess your home for air tightness. In the meantime, you can caulk, weatherstrip, and seal air leaks in doors, windows, plumbing, floors, ceilings, and areas where electrical wiring comes through walls. Keep in mind that air sealing is a temporary solution to reduce heat flow and proper insulation will eventually need to be applied.
Adjust your energy use
Rethinking the way you use energy in your home is easier than you think. From lighting and water use, there are so many small adjustments you can make that can have a big impact on your final bill. Here are a few to get you started:
- Switch to LED lighting – it uses 75% less energy and lasts up to 25 times longer!
- Take advantage of natural daylight, but keep the curtains closed to avoid getting too hot.
- Wait to use energy until “off-peak” hours such as early mornings or later at night.
- Ensure all devices are unplugged when not in use.
- Wash full loads of dishes and clothes in bulk for better efficiency.
- Doublecheck that your refrigerator and freezer doors are sealed airtight and try limiting the number of times you open them.
Keep your cooling system up-to-date
Aside from getting regular maintenance, there are other ways to ensure your cooling equipment is running as efficiently as possible.
- Regularly clean or replace your air conditioner filter or coil.
- Move your air conditioner away from lamps, TVs, and other appliances that can cause the thermostat to sense heat and run longer than necessary.
- Ensure furniture and other objects are not blocking airflow from your cooling system.
- Consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically be set warmer when you’re away and cooler when you’re home.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you first turn on your air conditioner.
- Utilize fans and ventilation in rooms with extra humidity, like your bathroom or kitchen.
Saving energy isn’t just a summer consideration – it’s something that can be done all year long. Getting into good habits now will help you reduce waste, improve efficiency, and save money. In the meantime, we hope you’re able to stay cool and enjoy the beautiful weather this summer. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, too!
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