With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to miss out on simple ways to save money. In the past we have talked about how to lower your energy bill in the winter, but this article focuses on tips and tricks to use during the summer. With higher temperatures in the summer season and the increase in air conditioning usage, it’s nice to save a few dollars here and there. In light of this, we’ve complied a few of our favorite ways to save on energy costs.
Replace A/C Filters
With summer in full swing, you probably crank up your air conditioning quite a bit. If you aren’t routinely replacing your filters, your unit could be doing a whole lot more work than it has to. As new air is brought into the A/C unit to be cooled, it carries debris like dust and dirt with it. These debris build up on the air filter as the air passes through. Over time this buildup makes it a lot harder for air to pass through the filter and into the system. This in turn causes the unit to increase its energy consumption to compensate. Keeping your filters clean can cut your electricity use by 5-15%.
Save even more money on air conditioning by turning down the air and turning on your house fan. Fans, if used correctly, can create a nice cool breeze making your home feel a lot cooler. The first step to using your fans correctly is to make sure that ceiling fans are spinning in the right direction. In the winter, ceiling fans should spin so that they pull air up and into the ceiling which pushes the warmer air back down into the room. In the summer, fans should do the opposite and force air down to create the breeze effect. Portable fans can be used in combination with ceiling fans to blow air laterally through the space creating a constant flow of cool air.
Use Windows to Your Advantage
Summer nights are often much cooler than summer days. Take advantage of this drop in temperature and open your windows at night to let the cool air in. Use fans to pull air in through the windows to keep you cool throughout the night. When the sun comes up in the morning you can close your windows to prevent the warmer air from entering your house. If you don’t mind dimming the natural light a bit, you can also utilize window treatments to limit the amount of sunlight entering the room, which would in turn prevent rays from heating the air.
Install More Energy Efficient Lighting
Lighting in residential homes typically accounts for 12-15% of a home’s electric bill. This is a great area to improve upon since it’s such a decent chunk of expense. Everyone knows that incandescent bulbs are not known for their energy efficiency, but did you know that only 10-15% of the energy they consume is turned into light? The rest of the energy is given off as heat. Switching to more energy efficient bulbs will not only cut down on your energy waste, it will also cut down on the heat given off by the bulb. While LED lights still produce some heat, they give off a fraction of the heat that incandescent bulbs release. This decrease in warmth will help to keep your home cooler when your lights are on, as well as, save you money on electricity. To eliminate even more heat, make sure you only turn lights on when you need them.
Turn Down Your Water Heater
This trick is not exclusive to summer, but it can still help you save a significant amount on your energy bill. Most hot water heaters come set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of us would call this temperature scalding hot. Instead of wasting energy to produce water that will burn you, turn your heater down to 120 degrees. This can save you 6-10% on the energy in takes to run the heater and still provide water for hot showers.
Putting some of these methods into practice can help you save on your energy bill during this hot summer season. For all things DIY and home improvement be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.