7 Energy Saving Tips for the Summer Months
Summer is officially here. It is HOT outside. Your air conditioner is about to get its biggest workout of the year. Typically that means your wallet is about to get a workout too. But there are some things you can do to save some energy, and thereby save some money. Check out these seven tips to help make this your coolest summer yet.
- Use your windows to your advantage.
If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere that actually gets cool at night, open the windows. Turn off the air conditioner and save it for when you need it. (During the day, when the sun is out.) In the morning, get up and shut the windows and blinds before it gets hot outside and keep that cool air in.
- Use your fans efficiently.
Fans are a great tool for saving energy. You can actually set your thermostat about 4 degrees warmer if you’re using a fan without reducing your comfort level. It’s important to remember to turn them off when you leave the room though. They don’t actually cool the room, they just make you feel cooler by circulating the air. So there is no benefit to leaving them running when you leave.
- Keep up with your HVAC maintenance.
Change your air filter regularly. Vacuum your air returns to prevent dust from building up, blocking air flow, and making your system work harder than it has to. Also, avoid putting anything that produces excess heat – such as lighting fixtures and appliances – close to your thermostat. That extra heat in the vicinity of the thermostat can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Be choosier about what you turn on.
Lots of things that we use every day produce heat, so keep them off as much as possible. Take advantage of longer days and natural light. Don’t turn on artificial lights if you can avoid it. Try not to use your oven very often. If you’re washing clothes, only wash full loads. Also remember that your dryer uses a lot of energy and produces a lot of heat. Consider hanging clothes to dry.
- Make your home more air tight.
Check for any openings in your home that can let warm air in or cool air out. Cooling air in your house and allowing it to leak out is a huge waste of energy. Letting warm air in also means using more energy to cool your home. Make sure to use caulk and/or weather-stripping as needed to seal up as many cracks and openings as you can.
- Adjust temperature settings around your home.
Warm and cool are relative terms. Sixty degrees feels warm when it’s forty degrees outside. Seventy degrees feels cool when it’s eighty five. So adjust your indoor temperature accordingly. Keep the thermostat as high as you comfortably can to avoid your air conditioner running more than necessary. You can also change the temperature settings on your water heater to save even more energy.
- Take a trip to the attic.
Anyone with an attic knows that it’s basically an oven in the summer. If that’s where your HVAC system lives, you may have a little work to do to make it as efficient as possible. Make sure that your air ducts are covered in enough insulation so that the air isn’t heating up on its way to the vent. Also, make sure that you have plenty of insulation on the attic floor to create a thermal barrier between the attic and the rest of your home. Finally, make sure that your attic is properly ventilated to allow as much heat to escape as possible.