Comparing strategies for staying cool in the summertime is beginning to become a national pastime. These five winning tips can help you beat the heat while reducing your energy bills at the same time.
1. Seal Your Home’s Envelope
Your home’s envelope includes all the materials that separate the interior of your home from the exterior. According to the nation’s leading consumer publication, sealing air leaks in your home can reduce your annual energy costs by as much as $500. Enhance the sealing around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulking. Seal up leaking ductwork. A well-insulated attic can reduce energy expenses by up to 30 percent, according to the Department of Energy.
2. Stay in the Shade
Take a tour of your home’s south- and west-facing windows. Add shades or blinds to window treatments and keep them drawn closed during hot summer days. Consider adding an awning to the south-facing side of your home. Plan for future summers by planting a deciduous tree that will shade your home in summer while allowing sunlight to shine through bare branches in the winter. Painting your home in a light color helps reflect sunlight as well.
3. Get a Programmable Thermostat
An affordable programmable thermostat can cut your energy costs by as much as 10 percent without sacrificing comfort. Instead of keeping air conditioners running while you’re away, simply program the temperature that you’d like your home to be when you get home. The savvy device will automatically switch on at the optimum time, ensuring that you walk in the door to a comfortably cool home.
4. Minimize Indoor Heat Generation
The last thing that you likely want on a hot summer day is an oven-baked meal. Choose meals that you can cook quickly in the microwave instead or use the outdoor grill. Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher. Skip the clothes dryer and hang up clothes on an outdoor clothes line. Remember that lights and electronics generate heat as well. Keep them switched off when not in use.
5. Keep Cool Air Circulating
Anything that you can do to keep your air conditioner working more efficiently during the heat of summer will keep your home cooler and help reduce your energy costs. Make sure that the space around outdoor compressors and condensers is cleared to at least 24 inches. Air conditioner filters may need monthly cleaning or replacement during hot summers. Use ceiling fans to boost your air conditioner’s performance.
There are lots of ways to save electricity at home. Some are simple and gives immediate results – new habits or cheap gadgets that will help you save. Others require investment and a lot of work. But everyone can make a big difference.
Switch to CFLs.
If you have not already done so, it might be time to replace your old incandescent bulbs with fluorescent-based CFLs, the latter only uses fifth as much electricity.
The right lighting around the television and computer.
Minimize the light around in your surrounding while watching TV or working at the computer. Stylish spot-lighting provides a good working environment and a possible “salon feeling” and draws very little power.
The right light in the right place.
The placement of the lights in a room is crucial to how light is perceived. With lighter shades and fixtures with good reflectors, you get more light from each lamp. Maybe you can then go down from four to three light sources or use weaker lights?
Get motion detection.
There is no idea for the lights to be turned on in a room where no one is present. A motion detector turns off lights automatically. It may not be as useful indoors, but for those who have lighting on the property, it can save many dollars.
Activate save mode on your computer.
Check the computer’s power options and set short times to shut off the display and sleep for your computer. There is no point for it to draw power when no one is using it.
Turn off the wifi.
Not using wireless network? Turn it off – both on the computer and the router.
Turn off the gadgets you do not use.
Standby modes are useful and are becoming more and more power efficient, but zero watts is always best. Some stuff we use so rarely that it does not interfere significantly to turn them off manually.
Get a programmable thermostat
If you don’t have one yet then it is a must to purchase one if you have house with its own heating. Then you can easily keep track of the indoor temperature, and also schedule so that it goes down automatically when you are not home.