While we all look forward to the summer months for warmer weather, and enjoying the great summer nights, higher energy bills are not welcomed. Whether you are running your air conditioning more often, using more water to take showers, or you’re using more electricity to run fans to get a cool breeze, energy saving tips can help your pocket and the Earth. This summer before you crank down the air conditioning another 10 degrees, look to these energy saving tips to help you through this hot summer, your pocket will thank you!
1. Replace your outdated air conditioning unit: If you live in a home that is over 20 years old, it may be time to consider purchasing a new unit that is more energy efficient. Even if you have lived in your home for a shorter period, but live in extreme climate areas, such as desert communities, also consider replacing your unit. Look for units that cost less to run and have energy approved program standards. This can differ depending on your geographic location.
2. Alternate methods of cooking: Instead of using your oven everyday, consider using your microwave or grilling outside this summer. Heating your oven up daily adds more heat to your interiors and therefore requires your air conditioning cooling system to work harder and longer. If you do need to use your oven, consider baking in the morning hours when your air conditioning may not need to be used and its cooler outside.
3. Automate your thermostat: If you are still using a manual thermostat to adjust the air conditioning in your home, consider replacing with an automatic one that can be programmed to keep your home warmer when you are not home. Then in turn, you can program it to come on before the family gets home.
4. Keep the hot sun out of your home: When leaving your home, or in times of the day when the sun is at its hottest, pull your window treatments closed to block out warm rays. Your interior spaces will feel cooler and your air conditioner won’t work as hard.
5. Give your air conditioning a break: Using a ceiling fan to move air around in your home instead of air conditioning can give a much needed break to your air conditioning. Save energy and cool your space down for less money with the use of oscillating room and ceiling fans.
6. Take cooler and shorter showers: When taking a shower in your home, turn down the temperature of the hot water to save energy. Decrease the duration of how long you stay in the shower to save on your hot water tank usage. Consider installing a tankless water heater to heat water only when needed, as opposed to an entire tank, which sits in your garage, basement or utility space.
7. Install more energy efficient light bulbs: Change out your current incandescent bulbs to more efficient ones, for example: compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy to use as well as emit a brighter light. They also last longer, and therefore need to be replaced less often, in turn saving you money.
8. Have you air conditioning unit serviced regularly: Ensure that you keep your air filters changed regularly per the manufacturers directions, and have a professional HVAC maintenance person service your unit every year. This will help your investment keep working properly for years into the future, while saving you money now.
9. Ensure your air conditioning pipes are sealed: Examine the pipes, and connections, as well as vents in your home to ensure proper sealing and caulking between the connections. What’s the point in cooling your home, if half of the cool air is cooling the attic? If you’re not familiar with how to do this, have the HVAC maintenance person help you.
10. Spend more time outside of your home: Summertime is a perfect excuse to get out and enjoy it! From swimming in community pools to having a picnic or getting exercise outdoors, spending less time in your house will help your energy consumption bill. While you can’t spend every minute outdoors, the summer weather should push you to the outdoors.
Saving energy this summer shouldn’t be a major challenge. Use these 10 helpful energy saving tips to protect your wallet, save the Earth and keep you and your family cool this summer. There are hundreds of ways to save energy, do your part in making this summer enjoyable for all, and by keeping your energy consumption to minimum levels to give your pocket a break too!