Here you’ll find strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the spring and summer.
If you haven’t already, get a professional energy audit to find out where you can save the most.
Use windows and shade trees to gain cool air and keep heat out
- On nights that are cool, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while you are sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
- Install window coverings and shade screens to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- Planting shade trees and bushes outside of your home can save you up to 50% on energy bills in the summer.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at al colder setting than normal when your turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort
- Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
- When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
- Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment
- Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioned to run longer than necessary.
- Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
- On hot days, avoid using the oven. Cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
- Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light – the rest is turned into heat.
- Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting, but avoid direct sunlight.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a desktop computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home
- Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
Lower your water heating costs
- Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees). You’ll not only save energy, but will avoid scalding your hands!