We all know it can seem difficult to save energy in our homes during the summer months because the long, hot days mean our air conditioners are running longer and sometimes harder, racking up the energy bills. No need to worry! We’ve researched the top ways to optimize energy savings for your home.
Utilize your ceiling fan- Use a ceiling fan to help make a room feel up to 10 degrees cooler. Set your fan counterclockwise so that it will pull air from the ground and circulate it around the room. Be sure to turn the fan off when you leave the room because it doesn’t actually lower the temperature of the room it just makes it feel cooler.
Install window coverings- Install window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect the sun from naturally heating rooms. Closing your window coverings during the day when the sun is at its peak can make a difference in the temperature of the room. If you live in an area where it gets cooler at night, turn off your air and open your windows while you sleep.
Unplug electronics- When electronics and appliances are not in use, unplug them to reduce unused energy costs. Use a power strip to make turning everything off and on easier rather than unplugging each item. In fact, leaving a computer on can cost roughly 21 cents per day, which is about $75 a year. That’s $75 you could be spending elsewhere.
Keep lamps and TV sets away from your thermostat- Heat from TVs and lamps can cause your air conditioner to run longer than necessary if they’re located near your thermostat. This is due to the heat that’s emitted from those appliances.
Switch to energy saving light bulbs: Almost 10 percent of home energy costs come from lighting. About 10 to 15 percent of electricity from incandescent light bulbs result in light, while the rest is turned into heat. Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact florescent bulbs or LED bulbs can save up to 75 percent of that wasted energy.
Use a programmable thermostat- If you have a regular schedule during the day, when you are out or away at work for example, set your thermostat to run at a warmer temperature while you’re gone, and schedule it to be cooler once you get home. The smaller the difference between your indoor temperature and outdoor temperature the less work your air conditioner will have to do to keep your house cool. This will in turn help decrease your cooling bill. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, try to set it at 78° F and leave it alone for as long as you can. The more you change it the harder your system will have to work.
Lower your water temperature- Heating water can account for 14 to 25 percent of energy consumed in your home. Turn the temperature down to the warm setting at roughly 120°F to save energy.
Search and seal cracks- Look for unwanted cracks around your home to prevent unwanted air from leaking in. Caulk windows and apply weather-strips and you could save up to 20% on your cooling and heating bill. Common source of air leaks include: dropped ceilings, recessed lights, attic entrance, still plates, water and furnace flutes, all ducts, door frames, chimney flashing, window frames, outlets and switches, and plumbing and utility access.
Strategically plan landscaping- If you have the opportunity, keep outdoor plants and shrubbery at least 3 feet away from outside units so they can operate efficiently. Strategically planting trees around your house can prevent constant sun exposure, reducing the work load put on your air conditioner.
We hope these quick tips will help you conserve energy throughout the summer, but there are even more ways to save on energy year-round on our Facebook and Twitter page. Like and follow us to discover more!
Sources: www.energy.gov www.ndrc.org
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