Summer is almost everyone’s favorite time of year. Trips are planned, guests expected and too many things to do to count – with friends and family alike. With all of these things going on, you may not realize your energy costs take a huge spike upwards as the temperatures rise (we all love cranking the cool air after being outside all day!). A few simple changes can make all the difference to your home and your wallet.
Don’t worry, these range from really simple household changes to some investments that will certainly pay off in the long run.
Simple Summer Energy Saving Tips
These are just a few ideas to help you and your household cut down on costs without breaking the bank.
Proper Window Usage Can Reduce Costs
- Keep the blinds or curtains drawn during the day if a particularly sunny room is not in use. Keeping the shades drawn in sun facing rooms is essential to keeping your home cool.
- Window treatments that work includes reflective shades, blackout curtains or honeycomb.
- Cool off at night? Turn off that AC and enjoy the fresh air overnight. In the morning, keep the cool air in by shutting windows and turning on your AC.
Learn Your Thermostat, Save Cash
- Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature, but not one that falls too far below the temperature outside – this will help lower costs.
- Heading out? Keep your house just a bit warmer than usual and lower it once you’re home.
- Avoid setting your AC at a colder temperature than usual, this will not cool your home any faster – it will only make the ventilation system work that much harder.
Fans & Ventilation
- Make sure all of your air vents are open, free of dust sand directing air toward the middle – this includes making sure they are not blocked by furniture, rugs or anything else.
- Did you know fans can allow you to raise the thermostat by 4° without any reduction in comfort to you, as per the Department of Energy.
- Make sure your fans are turning counterclockwise for summer and turned off when not being used (otherwise you’re not cooling anything & wasting money).
Avoid Using Heating Appliances During the Day
- Avoid the oven on hot days – try the microwave or grilling instead.
- Rethink the kind of lights you use throughout your home, some light bulbs produce more heat than others.
- Take advantage of natural lighting instead of flipping a switch every time you walk into a room (but remember to close those shades when you’re done).
- Wash only full loads of laundry and consider air-drying or a clothes line.
- Take short showers instead of baths
- Lower your hot water costs by turning down the water heater to a maximum of 120°.
Small Investments, Big Energy Cost Savings
A few household upgrades can make a huge difference, here are just a few.
Schedule a Tune Up for Your AC
This should be done once a year, ideally during spring. Your HVAC tech will clean up, perform preventative maintenance, conduct a total check up and ensure that your system is running efficiently and effectively.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
The newest thermostats can be controlled from anywhere with your phone and can even learn your households behaviors so you don’t have to think about it at all. Saving your money and time.
Insulation and Windows
Have a professional come inspect your home for air-leaks and an energy audit in which an infrared heat map will pinpoint your homes thermal weak spots. You’ll want to seal those places up as best you can.
Start thinking about upgrading your windows all together. It might sound very costly up front, but in the long term – the payoff is very real. If your windows are single pane or old and drafty, this could be a game changer for your wallet.
Any questions on how a few simple (or big) changes can keep more cash in your hands to splurge on fun this summer? Give us a call!