Don’t let summer heat up your energy bill. This summer may be a hot one and that has many residents working up a sweat. Not just from the higher temperatures but also from the anticipation of the first utility bill after the summer heat starts to take hold. Don’t let that bill blindside you! Do these easy tasks now to prepare your home to face the summer heat and increasing energy efficiency.
Summer Energy Savings Tips
Change the air filter
A simple task that can help make sure your air conditioning is ready for the increased workload from the sweltering summer heat. You should change your HVAC filter monthly and we recommend that you use the thin, cheap, fiberglass filters that are available locally at Ace Hardware. HVAC techs have told us that the thick, paper, 3-month filters get clogged quickly and cause a strain on your HVAC system and also increase your energy bill.
Make sure your outdoor AC unit is clean and clear
Clear away any excess weeds and plants growing by and around the outside unit. If weeds and plants are growing into the outdoor unit, we recommend you turn the system off completely before cleaning it up.
Clear the air vents
Cold air can’t get through if the vent is blocked. Vacuum and dust your air vents and make sure the airflow is clear from furniture, drapes, laundry piles, or messy piles from the kids.
Seal windows and doors
It’s easier to remember that windows and doors are a huge culprit of energy loss when you can feel the frigid air coming through but hot air can sneak in just as easily. Seal up gaps with weather stripping or foam insulation. Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Lowes sell strip insulation that has adhesive on one side and can be easily placed indoor and window jambs to help keep cold out and the AC in! Consider adding heat-blocking window blinds or shades to help to reduce summer heat gain. These are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased locally at Walmart or Kmart.
Reduce your hot water use
Consider using warm or cold temperatures for laundry, and wash as many dishes as you can by hand.
Turn off the lights
You don’t need extra heat-emitting lightbulbs adding to the summer heat. Remember to turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used.
Adjust ceiling fan direction
While portable fans and ceiling fans don’t cool rooms (they cool people), they can go a long way in contributing to your home comfort by making it feel cooler. During the summer months, turn the blade direction counterclockwise to pull the cold air closer to the floor–and you.
Turn off power-sucking appliances If you have a home device or appliance that gives off a buzzing, humming, or fan sound or is warm to the touch, then you have a phantom power sucker that can drain your energy bill. Since many of us won’t remember to turn off these devices when not in use, a smart power strip can help save energy this summer by shutting off appliances that go into standby mode.
When the heat is on, these simple tasks can help you save money this summer.