How to be Energy Efficient in the Summer
With summer in full swing, the hot weather isn’t holding back. While there are a few people lucky enough to live in colder locations, many homeowners deal with this long patch of this blistering heat for months. To help keep houses cooler and more comfortable, people rely on AC units, fans, and other equipment to drive up energy costs. Even though some people are more than willing to suffer these increased costs to avoid sleepless nights and sweaty days, they aren’t inevitable. Here, we’ll look at some energy efficiency tips that can help you stay cool without spending a fortune.
Perfect Your Thermostat Settings
Perhaps the easiest of energy efficiency tips involves optimizing your thermostat settings. The Department of Energy advises homeowners to set their thermostat to 78 degrees during the summer to save around 10% in utility costs every year. Even if 78 degrees is too hot, you’ll still see some savings by raising your thermostat’s temperature a little. You can save around 3% of cooling costs for every degree you go higher than 72 degrees.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
It seems ironic that investing in something can save you money, but that’s the case with a programmable thermostat. These capable devices are certainly more expensive than more traditional models. However, the money saved in the long run will make up for the higher price tag. These devices can be programmed to reach a higher temperature when you’re gone and return to a comfortable setting when you arrive. Homeowners can easily control some models from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Buy an Updated Air Conditioner
As you might have assumed, some of the most impactful energy efficiency tips require an investment. If you’re interested in reducing your monthly utility bills, it might be time for an upgrade. Cooling and heating account for roughly half of the energy used in a typical home, so any changes made in this area will have a drastic impact on what you pay. When shopping around for a new AC unit, keep an eye out for systems with EER and SEER ratings. These models are significantly more effective than the average unit. If your budget permits, you might as well go green on all of your household appliances. These can also work towards reducing your monthly energy bills.
Reduce Water Use
Not all energy efficiency tips are directly related to staying cool. If you think outside the box, you can find a ton of areas that could use some adjustment. For example, the average household uses more water during the summer months for a variety of reasons. Your lawn and plants require more hydration; you’re thirstier, take more shower or baths, and more. Reducing how much water you use can help keep this chunk of your utility bills lower. If you find it difficult to control how much water you use, you can install low-flow fixtures that restrict how much water comes out.
Use LED Bulbs
Light-emitting diodes(LEDs) are a type of lighting that converts electricity into light. Qualified LEDs only use 20%-25% of the energy and will last up to 15-25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. There are many different size bulbs and they can be used for different fixtures, such as desk lamps, kitchen lighting, and outdoor area lights. LED light bulbs might be more expensive, however, they will save you money in the long run as they last a long time and use little amounts of energy compared to incandescent bulbs.
Don’t Use Hot Water
Resisting the urge to use hot water is one of the easiest energy efficiency tips to implement in the summer. With the weather being hot, it’s more bearable to shower or bath using cold or lukewarm water. When it comes to washing clothes, only use hot water when necessary. You’ll see the savings add up rather quickly.
Block Out Sunlight
The sun isn’t just making it hotter outside, and it’s also directly warming your home. Windows intensify this heat to create a sauna-like atmosphere inside. Closing blinds, curtains, shutters, and other covers to block out sunlight throughout the day can work wonders for cooling down your home. Add this to your list of free and simple energy efficiency tips.
Some people wrongly assume that using fans will only increase their energy bills. Ironically, using ceiling fans, box fans, and standing fans can significantly reduce your monthly costs. When using enough fans, homeowners can quickly turn up their thermostat temperature by a few degrees without sacrificing their comfort level. Be sure to switch off your fans when leaving the room. You wouldn’t want to end up offsetting these advantages.
Optimize Your Fridge Settings
While turning off your fridge and freezer would undoubtedly save you a lot of money in energy costs throughout the summer, it’s not a feasible option. However, that doesn’t mean you have to take the high electric bills as they come. It’s all about optimizing the functioning of these appliances to reduce the energy used. Stocking your fridge full increases its efficiency since there is less space to cool. Be sure always to check that the door seal is intact.
Take a Break From the Devices
It turns out that your devices aren’t just eating up your time and attention. They’re also taking a chunk out of your wallet each month. Not only does it take a lot of electricity to charge your laptops, tablets, phones, and other devices daily, but they also emit a significant amount of heat. This heat can increase the temperature in your home, making it harder and more expensive to cool down.
Ventilate When Cooking
Cooking is another major source of heat in your home. Whether you’re baking a cake, frying some pancakes, or cooking some steak, the heat emitted increases the temperature in your house. Cooking causes your AC unit, fans, and other cooling equipment to work overtime. Unless you want to dine out or cook outside, you’ll need to increase your kitchen’s ventilation. Opening windows, cracking doors, and turning on overhead ventilation can help reduce your energy costs.
While the average homeowner can implement some of these energy efficiency tips, it’s always good to work with a professional electrician. The professionals from Mister Sparky can assess your home’s energy efficiency, conduct routine inspections, fix issues, and even install new equipment.
Mister Sparky Electrician Houston, America’s On-Time Electrician, serves Houston, Texas and the cities of Katy, Sugar Land, Cypress, Spring, The Woodlands and others with a team of certified electricians. In addition to emergency electrical repairs, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at: (281) 907-8418.