Five Ways to Slash Your Energy Use This Summer
Most families have a love/hate relationship with summer. On one hand, there are those beautiful days where the sun is shining, the temperature is pleasant, and all is right with the world. Then there are those days where the mercury is threatening to break through the top of the thermometer, and everything is sticky and sweaty, and your electric meter spins in an ever-quickening spiral as your air conditioner sucks the hot air out of your home and the money out of your pocket.
This year, don’t be a victim to out of control energy bills. Here are five easy tips to help you reduce your energy use this summer so you can budget more for that vacation you have in mind.
#1: Pay Attention to Peak Hours
The energy companies aren’t stupid. In recent years, most energy providers started charging different rates for different times of the day, and during peak use hours, you can expect to hit the hardest. So this summer, change your routine so you use less energy during peak hours.
One way to do this is to run your dishwasher at night. This will save you some money, and the heat it produces during the drying cycle won’t affect you while you’re sleeping. You can also make a habit of charging your electrical devices at night as well instead of throughout the day.
#2: Raise the Thermostat
Did you know that for every temperature degree you lower your thermostat in the summer, you’re adding 6% to your energy costs? So, keep your indoor temperature as high as you can stand it and rely on your ceiling fans for additional cooling. Ideally, your indoor temperature during the summer should be right around 78 degrees for the best balance of comfort and cost.
When you’re leaving the house, you should raise your thermostat even higher, up to 85 degrees. You don’t want to turn your air conditioner totally off, however, as when you get home, it will have to work a lot harder to cool the home back down and this will counteract your saving strategy.
#3: Get Your HVAC System Serviced
A well-maintained HVAC system is simply more energy efficient than one that is left to its own devices. A new air filter should be installed prior to the start of summer, and you should have a professional HVAC technician look over your system. By doing this, you’ll not only enjoy a more efficient HVAC system, but you’ll also be extending the life of one your home’s most expensive components.
#4: Adjust Your Cooking Habits in Summer
Most money-saving families rarely dine out because it’s an unnecessary expense. But, if you use your oven to cook dinner, the heat it produces could be costing you even more in your energy bills.
This summer, start thinking more about alternative cooking solutions. From grilling outside to using the microwave to using a crock pot or air fryer, there are several alternatives to using your oven that will help keep the hot air out of your home so your AC doesn’t have to work as hard.
#5: Keep Your Drapes Closed During the Day
As if the temperature outside isn’t enough, the sun that pours into your home unabated can really heat up your interior during the hottest parts of the day. So, invest in some insulated drapes and put them on the windows that face the sun in the afternoon.
The insulated drapes will prevent the sun’s UV rays from penetrating your home, and your air conditioner will thank you for it by giving you a break on your energy bill.
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