From cranking up the air conditioning to the extra power our kids use on electronics because they are home from school all summer, to washing extra loads of laundry full of bathing suits, pool towels, and sweaty clothes, we spend a lot on energy costs in the summer. To keep your bill low, here are home energy efficiency tips for summer.
1. Keep Hot Air Out
Reducing the amount of air leaking in and out of your home is one cost-effective way to cut heating and cooling cost. To keep warm air out of your home, seal cracks and openings near leaky windows, doors and other areas to prevent it from entering. You can accomplish this with two, simple air-sealing techniques – caulk or weather-stripping. Caulk is used for cracks and openings between door and window frames. Weather-stripping is used to seal components that move, such as doors and operable windows.
2. Keep the Sunlight Out
Sunlight coming through your windows will heat up your home quickly, which means you’ll end up spending more money on air conditioning. If your windows are facing south, the sun will be especially intense. Make sure to keep your blinds or drapes closed during the day, especially in the afternoon, when the sun blazes the brightest. Open your windows at night when the temperatures drop. Check out more on natural ventilation, coverings and window treatments that can improve energy efficiency.
3. Minimize AC Use
To maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency and save a few dollars on your utility bill, only switch on your AC when you really need it. If the nights are cool enough, try getting by with a fan and some open windows. When you aren’t home, make sure you AC doesn’t run all day. Consider a smart or programmable thermostat, so you don’t have to manually change the temperature when you leave the house. These thermostats will automatically adjust the climate control in your home.
4. Cool Down with Fans
A good way to cut down on AC costs is to use fans in your house. Chances are your home is equipped with ceiling fans, which effectively circulate air to create a draft throughout the room. Use them to help cool entire rooms. Instead of turning on your AC, use the fan in the unit. Most air conditioners come with this function. Window fans are also a very good option. They are best used in windows facing away from the prevailing wind so they can
exhaust hot air from your home. Close windows near the fan tightly and open windows in rooms far from the fan, preferably on the windward side of your home. Windows near cooler, shaded outdoor areas provide the best intake air. You can purchase inexpensive, window fans and portable fans at any home goods or flexible format stores.
5. Cook Outside
Head outside and cook meals on the grill to keep the inside of your house cool, and save yourself from sweating over your utility bill. The oven will make your AC work harder. If you have a gas grill, try cooking a couple times a week to save on gas. You can cook additional meats and veggies on those days to last the week. It’s also a good idea to use appliances that don’t generate as much heat, such as crockpots or electric griddles. Cooking outside also gives you a good excuse to invite some friends over for a barbecue!
Like these tips and want to learn more about making your home more energy efficient? Check out our post, Energy-Saving Moves to Reduce Your Heating Bill for a guide to winterizing your home.