With warmer weather and rising temperatures, we use more energy to stay cool and comfortable. Use these tips to reduce utility costs this summer. Here are a few easy ways to get started.
Add Curtains to Reduce Utility Costs This Summer
Insulating curtains are not just for winter. They also reduce your home’s summer energy usage by blocking the sun’s heat. Close the curtains during the hottest part of the day. Your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep the home cool, which keeps energy costs down.
Put Lights on a Timer
If you sometimes forget to turn off the deck lighting after grilling, put the outdoor lights on a timer. They’ll turn off automatically, saving you energy. Use timers for indoor lights when you’re traveling. Lamps turn on at specified times, creating the illusion that someone is home and helping to deter burglars. Using timers, you won’t be paying for lights to be on around the clock.
Tune Up the HVAC System
HVAC systems run more efficiently when tuned up and in good repair. Have an HVAC technician perform maintenance on the air conditioner each spring. Basic cleaning and lubrication will reduce its energy consumption and extend the AC’s life expectancy.
Changing the HVAC filter reduces your home’s summer energy use. Keep a stack of filters on hand, and replace it each month.
Reduce Utility Costs this Summer with Ceiling Fans
On moderate days, don’t turn on your air conditioning. Instead, use the ceiling fans. The circulating air from the fan makes your space feel cooler. Ceiling fans cost pennies a day to run. If you don’t have ceiling fans, plan box fans in the rooms you use frequently.
Shower in Cooler Water
In the summer, cooler showers feel nice — especially if you’ve just come in from working in the heat. Turn down the temperature on the water heater to reduce your home’s summer energy use. Setting it to 120 degrees F is sufficient and will contribute to a reduced power bill.
Eat Cool Meals
Summer is the perfect season for sandwiches, salads, wraps, and other cold foods. By eating no-cook meals, you’ll use less energy. Reserve cooking with the oven or on the stovetop for cooler days when the AC won’t have to work overtime to compensate.
Follow these tips to reduce your home’s summer energy use. Your utility bills will decrease whether you make one of these changes or decide to tackle several.