The best ways to save energy during the summer.
This summer has been a hot one already! Thermometer-busting temperatures mean more than just uncomfortable outdoor temperatures. It can also mean wallet-busting utility bills at the end of the month. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do that can help reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills, while maintaining a comfortable home.
Here are our top 10 summer energy savings tips.
Turn off lights. No-brainer right? Well, you can take it a step further. Make sure you unplug all electronic devices when you are not using them. Things that are plugged into an outlet still use electricity if they aren’t turned on.
Keep windows and doors closed. On hotter days, this isn’t really a temptation. But, when the temperatures drop into the 70s and 80s, opening up the windows and airing out your home can seem like a welcoming prospect. Just remember, it isn’t your job to cool the neighborhood. If your air conditioner is on, your windows and doors should be closed.
Invest in a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can be a real efficiency life-saver during the summer, particularly if no one is in your home during the day. Of course, you can always try to replicate what a programmable thermostat does for you with a non-programmable model. But, you risk affecting comfort and actually spending more money on utilities.
Find out if zoning is right for your home. Uneven temperatures can be a real comfort killer during the summer. Zoning systems help solve these problems by using just the right amount of energy to cool the different zones in your home. No energy wasted cooling rooms that have already reached optimum comfort.
Replace an air conditioner that is 12 years old, or older. If your air conditioner is getting up in age, it may be time to consider a replacement. Air conditioners produced 10+ years ago had to meet lower efficiency standards and have probably lost some of that initial efficiency over years of use. A new air conditioner will be the best way to reduce utility bill spending.
Weatherize for summer. Sealing any air leaks around windows and doors during the summer can help make temperatures feel more even in your home as well as minimizing cool air lost. It also pays off in the winter.
Use fans to help a room feel colder, but turn it off when you aren’t in the room. There is this misconception that fans actually create cold air. That is not the case. Fans actually just circulate the air. But, they can make you feel cooler by displacing the warm air around your body. So, if you want to feel cooler, turn on a fan. But, when you leave the room, make sure you treat it like a light and unplug it.
Set your thermostat to the warmest temperature you are comfortable with and stick to it. A degree or two isn’t going to make a significant difference when it comes to comfort. But, it can make a big difference when it comes to how much you spend a month cooling your home. So, find your ideal temperature and stick with it.
Invest in ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. ENERGY STAR rates everything from washers to air conditioners. So, if you want to make a high-efficiency upgrade, look for the ENERGY STAR label. If you have a complete ENERGY STAR home, you are going to save much more on utilities.
Use blinds and curtains to block the sun in south-facing rooms. Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference when it comes to home comfort. Using blinds and curtains, especially in a south-facing room, can lower the temperature and reduce the cooling need in a particular room.
Remember, your air conditioner is your biggest energy consumer during the summer. You can make sure it is running as efficiently as possible by performing a home energy audit or having your local HVAC contractor take a look at your system.