The heat of summer can bring high energy bills, so we’ve compiled a list of energy-saving tips to keep your bills low this year.
- If you live in a region with cool nights, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows overnight, then close the windows in the morning to keep the cool air inside.
- Use window coverings, such as vertical or horizontal blinds, to block sun and heat from your windows.
- Install a programmable thermostat and program it to keep your home as warm as comfortably possible and to keep the home warmer when you are away.
- Running a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat about 4 degrees with no noticeable difference. Turn off ceiling fans if you’re not in the room. According to Energy.gov, “Fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.”
- Run the bathroom fan when you take a shower to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Schedule regular maintenance and checks for your air conditioner and furnace.
- Avoid using the oven on hot days. Instead, use the stove or microwave, or take advantage of the weather and grill outside.
- Install energy-efficient light bulbs — such as CFL or LED — that generate less heat than incandescent bulbs.
- Take advantage of the longer summer days by using daylight rather than artificial lights indoors in the afternoon and evening.
- Take a walk around your house (indoors and out) and seal any cracks or openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
- Add caulk or weather stripping around drafty doors and windows. They cost you energy in the summer, as well as the winter.
- Take advantage of warm summer days by line-drying clothes rather than using the dryer. When you need to use the dryer, make sure you are running full loads in it. Likewise, air-dry dishes by opening the dishwasher door after they’re washed.
- Buy ENERGY STAR® appliances and products to save energy.
- Solar-control window films applied to glass windows and doors can help conserve energy in the summer. Visit the International Window Film Association’s website for more information.
- Take a cool shower rather than turning the AC down a few a degrees.
- Use the exhaust fan to blow hot air out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.
- Turn your water heater down to save energy.
- If you have a pool, turn off the filter overnight when no one is using the pool.
- Postpone laundry and dishwashing until the cooler evening hours and only washing full loads of clothes and dishes.
Sources: Energy.gov, consumerenergycenter.org, NSTAR.com