Summer’s here and though you might be spending less on heating your home and water, you’re likely to make up those costs in air conditioning and the amount of water you use. There are a lot of ways to cut your energy costs, and even ways to make it a family endeavor! Check out resources like Energy Ant for workbooks and activities to get kids thinking about energy consumption.
In both the winter and summer, having a properly insulated home will keep the outside air from getting in and the inside air from getting out. This will decrease your heating bill in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. Here are ways you can accomplish this:
- Install siding with Insulation: This will trap the air inside your home and keep the outside temperature from affecting the temperature of the environment inside. In certain situations, it also can qualify you for tax credits.
- Check your glass doors: Regularly clean the track of any sliding doors and windows. This will prevent the seal from becoming worn and allowing cool or hot air to escape outside.
- Look for spider webs: If there are webs in the basement near your foundation, it means there’s a draft inside the house. Insulating your basement can prevent heat loss as well as get rid of unwanted creepy crawly visitors.
- Make the most of your windows: Newer windows often keep houses insulated better. You can further enhance this by adding tinting your windows to keep the sun from getting in and affecting the internal temperature.
- Add awnings to your windows: Awnings and overhangs can also help keep the sun out. You can plan them so they block the high summer sun, but let in the low winter sun, minimizing your heating needs in the winter.
- Know your system’s peak: Most air conditioning units use three to five percent more energy for each degree below 75 Fahrenheit. That means that setting your unit to 75-77 will give you the maximum comfort at the lowest cost.
- Use your fans: Ceiling fans use less electricity than air conditioning. So set your AC unit at its peak performance temperature and use fans to further cool your space.
- Use outside: For the most part, you’ll want to keep your windows closed during the summer. But on cool nights, shut off your air and open the windows. The natural cooling can save a lot of money and energy.
- Check your refrigerator: If the seal on your refrigerator isn’t tight, you’re allowing the cool air to escape, causing your unit to work harder. Also, make sure that dust and pet hair isn’t clogging the unit’s coils. Though it’s true that a packed freezer is more efficient, that is not true for your fridge, so make sure to utilize the food you already have, and to clean out aging food regularly.
There are a lot of everyday activities that can add up to greatly reduce your energy costs. Right now you’re probably focused on ways to stay cool, but there are tricks to help you save money year-round. What are your favorite energy saving tips? Share in the comments below!