Energy Saving Tips for this Summer
When you think about the perfect summer, what comes to your mind? Perhaps you can already envision yourself on the beach or in a sun chair tanning the worries away. With a cold ice drink in your hand and a classic hamburger in the other, there couldn’t be anything that would ruin this scenario, right? Well, you might be forgetting about one thing. If you’ve already instinctively started fanning yourself, then you’re probably thinking about the same thing we are — the intense heat. Currently, North America is experiencing huge blasts of heat that are setting records. With such historically high temperatures, you might be desperate to turn the AC on high, keep the water sprinklers gushing, or whatever extreme measures you need to take to cool down.
But before you start racking up the huge utility bills, you should know that there are plenty of ways to cool down in the hot summer without wasting energy and breaking the bank. Without further ado, here are some of our favorite summer energy saving ideas to help you achieve your greatest and coolest summer yet. (No pun intended!)
The Best Ways to Save Energy and Cut Your Energy Bills This Summer
- Don’t Blast the Thermostat
Keeping your thermostat on high is one of the fastest ways to raise your bills. That’s because every additional degree of cooling can increase your energy expenditure by nearly six to eight percent! As a general rule of thumb, let your house get warm when you and your family are out and about at school and work and only work the thermostat when you’ve arrived back home. According to the Department of Energy, a temperature of 78 degrees throughout the summer can help you save up to 10% in your energy bills every year.
One of the best ways to rest easy knowing that your thermostat is not running your bank account dry is to swap out your current one with a smart or programmable thermostat. These Wi-Fi enabled devices can automatically cool or warm up your home while keeping high energy efficiency in mind. They’ll also adjust to your preferences and work around your schedule for maximum convenience. As an extra incentive, your local governments might also provide rebates for installing smart thermostats. Don’t forget to check with your energy provider for discounts as well.
- Consider Using the Fan Alongside the AC
Have you ever been so sweat soaked before that you stuck your entire face in front of a fan and let it blow your heat away? It’s certainly a relaxing feeling, and no doubt an affordable one as well. Did you know that running a fan 24/7 for an entire month is so cheap that it’d only cost you $5 on your utility bill?
Because of how cheap it is, you’ll definitely want to think about turning on your fan some more. However, it certainly does come with its drawbacks. Because it only circulates air around rather than producing any actual cool air, it can offer some temporary relief in the heat of the blistering summer.
However, the best summer energy saving solution is to turn your fan and your AC on at the same time. By allowing a ceiling fan to run, you can turn your thermostat up by nearly four degrees without experiencing any less comfort. It’s an absolute win-win on both the cooling and savings front! Just don’t forget to turn your fans off when you leave the house. After all, your fans are meant to cool you and not your surrounding fixtures.
- Do Some Cold-Water Washing
Your washing machines, dryers, dishwashers all use a ton of energy. To reduce how much you spend in the summertime, consider only washing full loads of clothes and dishes and consider using cold water instead of hot water. You might even be able to forgo the dryer altogether, as the summer heat can properly dry out your clothes on a handy clothesline!
If you’re also up for the challenge, summer is the perfect season for you to try out a cold shower. Although it can be a little uncomfortable at first, cold showers are known to have numerous health benefits. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they can whisk away the pools of sweat and refreshen you up when you’re feeling tired.
Once you get into a habit of using less hot water, you’re now able to save even more by lowering the temperature of your water heater by a tad bit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your water heater alone is responsible for 14% to 25% of the total energy that you use. By setting your heater to the optimal temperature of 120 degrees, you’ll be able to save money to spend elsewhere.
- Get Insulating
We know what you might be thinking — isn’t insulation just for the colder months?
Well, now you know that insulating the air leaks in your home is one of the best ways to save energy during the summertime! This little trick helps to retain the cool air in your home and keep the heat out. By doing some caulking and weather-stripping here and there at cracks and openings that you notice, you can save up to 30% on heating and cooling costs.
Some crucial places to check include the attic and basement, as large gaps here can go unnoticed.
- Go LED
If you’re still relying on incandescent light bulbs to illuminate your home, then you’ll want to replace them with energy efficient LED lights. That’s because what you currently have is extremely inefficient at transforming energy into actual light. Did you know that only about 10-15% of the electricity that goes through your bulb actually gets turned into visible light? The rest of it gets turned into extra heat, which we’re sure that you don’t need any more of in the summer. LED lights on the other hand use 75% less energy but last a whopping 25 times longer. Though they cost a little more, their upfront investment will pay off far more in the long run thanks to your lower utility bills.
Summer is indeed the time for relaxing. Now that you know our best summer energy saving tips, you can relax even more knowing that you’re paying less out of pocket while enjoying all the benefits of energy efficient practices and more.