Summer the hottest season of the year is here. Get ready for summer by following these home energy saving tips that will reduce your energy costs and will keep you cool and comfortable at the same time:
- Make sure you have completed any spring maintenance needed for your home.
- Consider increasing your attic insulation to keep the heat in during the winter and to keep the heat out during the summer. Increase attic insulation to at least R 30 or R 40 depending on your local climate.
- Make sure your attic vents are functioning properly. Attic vents and inlets prevent heat build-up and improve ventilation in your roof attic space.
- Have your heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) system serviced annually by a professional HVAC service technician.
- Change your air conditioner air filters regularly as recommended by the manufacturer to keep your cooling system operating efficiently.
- Set your thermostat at a temperature level that is comfortable for you and your family when you are home; normally between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.The higher you set your thermostat the less energy you will use. For each 1 degree you increase your cooling system thermostat setting you could reduce your energy consumption by 2-3%.
- Install programmable setback thermostats for your central air conditioner to automatically increase or reduce the cooling temperature of your home at night when you are asleep, or during the day when you are away from your home.
- Make sure your window or central air conditioning system is properly sized for the space it is being used to cool. Air conditioners that are too big for the space being cooled will consume more energy and will increase the humidity in your home. Air conditioners that are too small will not cool your home to a comfortable temperature.
- Consider using ceiling fans to cool your home. They use less electricity than air conditioners or a heat pump. Make sure that your ceiling fans are running in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer.
- Make sure your cooling system registers are not blocked by furniture or drapes.
- Install window shading to shade your home from the sun during the summer.
- Close the windows during the day to keep the cool air in and the warm air from the sun out.
- Consider thermal-backed curtains for your windows to block out heat from the sun on hot summer days.
- Replace your incandescent light bulbs with more efficient light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs.
- Install motion-sensing LED outdoor lighting for both energy savings and safety.
- Replace old windows, plumbing fixtures, and appliances with energy efficient models if you are planning to do some home renovations.
- Turn off appliances, lights, ceiling fans, and equipment when not in use.
- Plug your appliances and electronic devices into smart power strips which turn off your appliances and devices when they go into standby mode.
- Don’t use your dishwasher, dryer, or your oven during the hottest time of the day during the summer.
- Clothes dryers are one of the higher energy consuming appliances in your home. Reduce your energy usage by hang drying your washed clothes on a clothesline.
- Fill up your dishwasher before turning it on. Air dry your dishes.
- Do your cooking, ironing, cleaning, and laundry during the cooler early morning and evening hours.
- Install low-flow faucets and showerheads to decrease hot water usage and to lower your energy bills.
- Plant large trees on the south side of your property to provide your home with cooling shade from the hot summer sun.
- Use weather stripping around your windows and doors to prevent warm outside air from entering your home and to decrease your home’s heating and cooling needs.
- Use solar generated hot water for your home and pool if possible. Check for solar power hot water equipment installation incentives and rebates from your local municipality.
- Use a solar blanket for your outdoor pool to prevent heat and water loss through evaporation and to lower your pool’s heating costs.
- Replace your standard pool pump with a newer variable drive high efficiency pool pump. An energy efficient pool pump will reduce your pool’s energy consumption between 30 to 40 percent.
- Install low voltage or solar powered LED outdoor lighting for your landscaping.
- Vacuum or clean the condenser coils on your freezer and refrigerator to keep them operating efficiently during the summer.
- Make sure the fireplace damper in your home is tightly closed to prevent air loss.
Following these summer energy saving tips will decrease your energy bills, will increase your home's energy efficiency, and will help reduce your environmental footprint at the same time.
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