Summer is nearly here! Along with outdoor activities, vacations, and a more relaxed atmosphere, there is also the scorching sun. As the sun begins to beam down on you, temperatures skyrocket and so too do your energy bills. Implementing some simple and inexpensive routines can help you save energy and reduce your bill during the hot summer. Even if you choose to keep an air conditioner on periodically, there are steps that can be taken to save energy and money. Here, we have identified a list of 4 strategies to help you keep cool while saving (and staying) green during the summer.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, keeping windows shut during particularly hot days will actually keep your home cooler. During the evening when the sun sets and the day begins to cool off, you can open windows to allow the cooler air to circulate through your home. As the next day approaches, close your windows once again to trap the cool air in from the previous night. Close your blinds and curtains as well to prevent heat from entering. Another trick is to place plants in front of windows that let in a lot of sun. Plants will absorb a portion of the heat making it that much cooler for you.
Remove Standby Power
Electronics make your house warmer, after all, all that heat has to go somewhere. Standby power, also referred to as vampire power, is the energy that is consumed by certain appliances and electronics when plugged in but not in use. Some ways to recognize this occurrence is when an electronic device has a clock or a light. “Off” doesn’t always means unplugged. Despite not actually being put into use, these devices still require energy to light up or tell time. Additionally any kind of charger can use standby power, regardless of whether or not it’s actually charging anything. An efficient way to go about reducing electricity can be to unplug power strips, usually utilized around televisions, computers, and sound systems. Surge protectors are a good option as well.
Keep Lights and Appliances Off
Lighting, especially incandescent lighting, can produce a significant amount of heat. Only about 10-15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume transfers into light, the rest turns into heat. Turning lights off during the warm summer months can reduce the temperature in your house, not to mention the energy savings that will be had.
Similarly, avoid using the oven to cook during these oppressively hot days. Consider using the stove, microwave, or outside grill as alternatives. Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry. Air drying clothes is also an energy and money-saving substitute.
Operate Thermostats Efficiently
Whether you have a thermostat or are planning on purchasing one, do everyone in your household a favor and take the time to understand how it functions. A surprisingly large amount of people with a programmable thermostat are unaware of how to properly use it. When used properly, a thermostat can save up to 10% per year from your heating and cooling bills.
On another note, setting your thermostat to a higher yet comfortable temperature will save you money during the summer. The smaller the difference between inside and outside temperature, the less expense you will incur. When you are away, keep your house warmer than usual to save.