Reducing Summer Energy Costs
Energy bills can often soar in the summertime due to a variety of factors, and particularly the heat. Here are some easy to follow tips that can help save you and your family money this summer!
Unplug Devices. Don’t just turn off electronics like your computer, TV, or leave in an unused cell phone charger for example, also unplug the items. These devices can drain power even when they’re not on. You can also purchase a Smart Strip which immediately cuts power to devices when they don’t need it.
Close Doors and Vents in Unused Rooms. If you have a guest bedroom you are currently using, for example, close the vents and the door to that room to prevent unnecessarily cooling a room you’re not using. If you’re planning to spend the day upstairs and aren’t planning on being downstairs, consider closing the vents and doors downstairs and reopening before using them again.
Use Fans. Overhead fans do a great job circulating air and cost less than running the air conditioning. This can allow you to either delay turning on the AC or allow you to run it at a higher temperature while still staying comfortable.
Turn off Lights. During the day, consider turning off all lights inside and outside the home and relying on natural light. Also, remember to turn off any lights after leaving a room at night.
Have your AC Inspected by a Professional. Have a professional AC company come out to inspect your AC system to ensure everything is working properly and efficiently, thus making it the most cost effective and reliable for your home.
Add Insulation. Fill gaps and holes in between walls and around plumbing to prevent cool air from escaping in the summer (and warm air in the winter). Spray foam insulation may be a good solution to fill the holes/gaps.
Use a Clothesline Outside to Dry Laundry. Take advantage of the long, warm summer days and dry your clothes on an outdoor clothesline. Bonus – it makes your laundry smell amazing!
Program Your Thermostat. Program your thermostat to reflect your energy needs for the day. If you know you will be away all afternoon, for example, program the thermostat to reflect a higher temperature during the hours you are away.
Use the Oven Sparingly (or not at all). Since using the oven makes your AC work extra hard, consider not using the oven during the summer or using it sparingly. Other alternatives are microwave and toaster ovens which use much less energy and don’t heat up the home nearly as much.
Take advantage of Blinds and Curtains. If you have blinds and curtains in your home, keep them drawn throughout the day in rooms and areas of the home that are not in use, and especially when areas of the home are receiving direct sunlight. This can really help keep the home cooler and reduce AC costs.
Keep Windows and Exterior Doors Closed when the AC is On. This one is especially important if you have kids and pets, as leaving a window or door open while the AC is on is very costly and makes your AC work hard to maintain your set temperature.