Summer is right around the corner, and it’s almost time for BBQs, beach days, and all the fun that comes with it. But for most people, summer also means spending money on keeping your home cool and comfortable. To cut your cooling costs this summer and lower your electricity bill, we’ve got 12 easy summer energy saving tips for you.
Monitor Your AC Use
Turning your AC off when you don’t need it seems like a no-brainer, but once summer sets in it’s easy just to run the AC 24/7 and forget about turning it off. Here’s your friendly reminder that turning off your AC when you don’t need it like when no one is home or on cool nights, can lead to a bunch of summer energy savings.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, right now is the time to get one, because it will make summer energy saving so much easier. With a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to think about turning your AC off when no one is home; you can simply set it to shut off during work or school hours.
For even more convenience, you can set your programmable thermostat to adjust to the needs of your home. Not only will a programmable thermostat make your life easier, but it will also ensure that you never forget to reduce your energy use, so you never miss out on summer energy savings.
Get an AC Tune-up
While limiting the amount of time your AC is running is a great way to reduce your cooling costs, it’s not always feasible. Scheduling a routine AC tune-up will ensure that when you need your AC running, it does so effectively and efficiently. The more efficiently your AC system works, the lower your electricity bill will be.
Keep it Easy and Breezy
If you live somewhere where nighttime temperatures drop or frequent breezes occur, take full advantage of this natural ventilation by keeping your windows open and shutting your AC off.
Keep the Sun Out
Sunshine is great, and it’s important to get a healthy dose of it, but letting too much sunlight into your home this summer will lead to spending more money and effort on keeping your home cool. So cash in some summer energy saving by closing drapes and blinds during the hottest part of the day.
Be a Fan of Fans
Fans are a great way to keep your home cool while lessening the pressure on your AC system, and they’re more energy efficient too. Using fans can allow you to increase the temperature on your thermostat by four degrees without reducing comfort.
Just remember to have your ceiling fans turning counterclockwise during the summer for optimal airflow. And if you don’t have ceiling fans, standing fans are readily available and are a small investment that can help you reduce cooling costs this summer.
Pro tip: Fans are meant to cool people in rooms, not the actual rooms, so never leave them on when no one is around.
Check Your Home Insulation
Before summer fully arrives, an essential part of getting your home ready is to take care of your summer home maintenance checklist, and a big item on that list is checking your home for leaks and cracks that will let the cool air out this summer.
Seal up any leaks or cracks around your home with sealant, weatherproofing, or caulking, and make sure to pay extra attention to doors and windows.
Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
LED lightbulbs are a simple solution that can lead to a lower electricity bill. Not only do LED lightbulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but they also release less heat, and the less heat produced in your home, the higher your summer energy savings.
Commit to Cold Water Washing
A majority of the energy used by your washing machine goes to heating the water, so lower your electricity bill by washing with cold water whenever possible. If you want to take it one step further, you can take advantage of the heat and dry your clothes outside.
Cold washing and air drying also apply to dishes, either by hand washing and drying or by setting your dishwasher to cold water and skipping the dry cycle.
Chances are you don’t need an excuse to enjoy more BBQs, but whether you’re just BBQing for your family or hosting summer BBQ parties, keeping the cooking out of your kitchen can make a difference.
By BBQing more often, you’ll save energy by not using your kitchen appliances, and save on cooling costs because you won’t have to combat the temperature rise caused by using your kitchen.
Keep an Eye on Electronics
Did you know keeping electronics that generate heat near your AC system thermostat can actually trick it into thinking your home is hotter than it is, leading to more energy use? Keep your cooling costs down by making sure electronics like lamps or TVs aren’t right next to your AC thermostat.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Unplugging electronics might seem like a small step to take, but it can save you up to $100-$200 a year on your electricity bill.
If you have any plans to change or work on your landscaping this summer, you can take advantage of plants to create some natural shade around your home. Planting shrubs and trees around your windows can provide shade by blocking the sun, and also help keep your home cool by absorbing heat.
Having plants around your AC system, close enough where they can provide shade for your unit but far away enough that they don’t create any obstruction, can also increase your AC efficiency.