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How Can I Save on Summer Energy Costs?

Q: Summer is here, and my energy bill is burning right through my budget! How can I save on energy costs this summer?

A: It’s hot out, but you can keep your cool with our energy-saving tips! Follow these hacks to save on energy costs this summer.

1. Have your HVAC system professionally inspected

First, you’ll want to ensure that your home is being cooled efficiently. You can do this yourself, but it may be worthwhile to hire a professional to check your HVAC system for leaks and other problems. You may also need to change your filters and clean out your air ducts. Having an efficient HVAC system will help keep your house cool for less money.

2. Use your AC efficiently

Don’t waste any of that cold air! In addition to regular maintenance, ensure you are using your AC system as efficiently as possible:

Avoid placing lamps or large TV screens near your thermostat. It will sense the heat from these appliances and unnecessarily ramp up its cooling.

Clean your air intake vents regularly to remove any dust buildup.

Use fans and ventilation strategies to keep your home cool. For example, when you shower, use the bathroom fan to remove heat and humidity from your home. Also, kitchen fans should be vented to the outside.

Keep your doors and windows closed when running the AC.

3. Get smart

If you aren’t already, consider using smart technology to keep your home cool and your costs down this summer. Connecting your thermostat to a mobile device will enable you to control it while you’re out and avoid cooling an empty home. You can also use smart technology to set your thermostat onto a schedule that suits your family’s needs. 

If you do increase your thermostat setting when the house is empty, be careful not to raise it too much, because bringing the temperature down from a high temperature can take more energy than you save.

4. Too much sun

Sunshine streaming directly into your home can make a room look bright and airy, but it can also bring lots of unwanted heat into your home. If you have abundant sunshine pouring into your house through any specific windows, consider hanging thermal, room darkening curtains to keep things cool during peak daylight hours. you could also plant a tree or bush outside that area. This will help you keep some of the sunlight out and the cool air in so you can enjoy lower utility bills.

5. Get grilling

Your oven and stovetop can heat up a lot more than your food this summer. Make it a habit to take your cooking outside this season and keep your home cooler. Grilling is great for your diet, and it will keep your energy costs down, too. 

6. Time your chores

Using large appliances, like a washing machine and dishwasher, can add extra heat to your home, especially if you live in a small space. Use these machines after dark, when it’s generally cooler out. 

7. Use appliances efficiently

In addition to timing your appliance use right, you’ll also want to use them in the most energy-efficient ways possible. Here’s how:

  • Only wash full loads of laundry. If possible, opt for cold water for the wash. 
  • Use glass pans in the oven when possible as these retain heat better and can shorten the cooking time. 
  • Use appropriately sized pots and pans on your burners. Using small pots on large flames can waste energy and may be a safety hazard, too.
  • Only use your dishwasher when it’s full. For even bigger savings, let those dishes air dry.
  • Unplug small and medium-sized appliances when not in use to avoid using vampire energy. 

Summer is here, but that doesn’t mean you need to watch your energy bill burn through your budget. Use these tips to learn how to save on energy costs so you can keep your cool, and your budget, too.