It is so easy to use up a ton of energy in the summertime - AC running constantly to keep our home at that perfect 72 degrees. Water running continuously to keep our lawn green and our garden alive. Wifi. Dishes. Laundry. It all adds up and can easily result in skyrocketing energy bills!
Check out my 9 must-have tips for beating the heat without breaking the bank.
1. Fan yourself. Using fans to help cool your home means you can raise the thermostat setting by 4 degrees without reducing your comfort level. That's a big deal! Just remember to turn off the fans when you’re not in the room. They aren’t intended to cool the space — just the people in the space via wind chill.
2. Turn up the heat! For every degree you raise your thermostat above 72 degrees, you save up to 3% of your cooling expenses.Consider getting a programmable thermostat, so you can program a warmer setting when you’re not home and automatically start cooling your home right before you get back. Or try a smart system that can be paired with your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer to control your air conditioner from wherever you are.
3. Service your system. Schedule seasonal maintenance to be performed on your heating and cooling system. Making sure your HVAC system is in good working order can reduce energy costs by 10 - 20%! Since heating and cooling your home gobbles up about half of the energy used in your home, the cost of a maintenance appointment is well worth it! Be sure to change your air filters while you're at it - these should be changed every one to three months to maintain optimal function and in-home air quality.
4. Wash in cold water. Most modern washing machines can get clothes just as clean with cool water as with warm, and the energy savings are substantial. If you make the switch permanently and not just seasonally, you can save around $200 a year! Another energy saver: line drying your laundry - use the sun's power and save your own.
5. Unplug. Keep your electronics from sucking up all your summer energy by unplugging your chargers, TV, computer and other small electronics when you’re not using them. It’s an easy way to save up to $100 a year, according to the Department of Energy.
6. Go low flow and water strategically. In the summer, water usage usually increases — whether it’s watering your lawn or taking more post-swim showers. Keep outdoor watering costs down by only watering grass and plants in the early morning or at dusk, so the water doesn’t evaporate in the summer heat. Another secret to having an energy efficient home is installing low-flow water fixtures. These work well on shower heads, toilets and even your outdoor sprinkler.
7. Go LED. Lighting used to be a common source of unwanted summertime heat, but in this age of affordable LED lighting, there’s no need to sit in the dark. LED light bulbs stay cool to the touch, all while drawing a fraction of the power used by incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Make a plan to upgrade all the bulbs in your home, even if you just buy a few bulbs per month!
8. Get grilling! This is a win-win: grilling is a healthy (and delicious) way to cook, and it can also reduce your energy bill. Using kitchen appliances can raise the temperature of your home by 10 degrees. Not only will you reduce the energy you use to run those appliances, but you’ll also save on air conditioning costs to cool down your home.
9. Draw those blinds. Sun coming through your windows can heat up your home and cause energy bills to rise. Draw curtains and blinds during the hottest parts of the day (between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.), especially if your windows are facing south.
Always remember, I am here for you! If you have questions or need help with anything, I am just a phone call, text, or email away. Let's chat!