Summer has arrived and is in full force through the Southeast and Mid-West. The bathing suits are out, the lemonade is flowing, and the water is splashing – but unfortunately the energy bills are rising.
Given that monthly energy bills extend greater than 20% of the national average for the year during summer months, slashing summer energy consumption is a must for cost-savings.
Summer provides the most expensive environment for energy costs if a homeowner doesn’t follow a few simple techniques to lower consumption.
Particularly in states like Arizona, Florida, California, and Georgia, following these few cost-effective summer energy bill slashing techniques could save you hundreds of dollars.
Enjoy the Weather, Don’t Dread the Energy Bill
Keep Blinds and Windows Closed During Day and Open At Night –
This may seem intuitive, but many people either forget or just don’t know that during peak hours in the summer, heat and unwanted light are attempting to pierce through your house. The more heat that is rushed into your home through open windows and blinds, the more work your a/c unit has to incur in order to lower the temperature.
Lower Your Water Heater Temperature –
During the summer, your water heater will incur extra heat transfer from the sun, and therefore, will heat up faster and through natural means. Lowering the temperature on your water heater will save you a ton of money on your energy bills during the summer because water heaters account for a large chunk of energy costs.
Set Your Thermostat –
This is one of the tips that can actually been done year round and is one of the many things that I personally do to save money. Whenever you’re home, set your thermostat to 78 degrees (F) for the best results, and 85 degrees when you’re gone for energy-saving measures.
Minimize indoor heat and humidity –
Do your dishes at night, conduct your laundry at night, and even shower at night in order to save on energy costs. During the day is when most heat transfer is taking place and is when you’ll want to minimize indoor heat by the use of appliances that give off heat. Particularly with the laundry devices, minimizing dryer usage altogether will save you hundreds throughout the year.
Unplug Appliances Not in Usage –
During the summer, unplugging refrigerators that are not in use, such as garage freezers and refrigerators, is one of the most important techniques to saving energy. Due to the nature of the device, refrigerators must work harder in a hot environment to cool itself, especially if it’s not completely sealed shut. In addition, whether you’re in the summer season or not, unplugging unused appliances will save you in the long-run, as electrical devices continue to suck energy from the wall when not in operation.
Natural Lighting –
Although you don’t want to open every single blind in your home, allowing some natural light (if your home is conductive for it) is not only better for your health, but will also save you money on light bulb consumption.
Check Your Insulation and Weatherize Your House –
If you live in Florida than you’re most likely to have a weatherized home, mostly due to the extensive hurricane season Floridians have each year. But to be safe and to save energy costs in the long-run, I would recommend hiring a home-sealing service professional to come out and look at your home. They will check for gaps, holes, and leaks throughout your home exterior and interior – imperfections cause a/c inefficiencies and higher costs. Also, make sure your R-value is high enough for your given geographic.
Improve the Efficiency of your HVAC –
Heating and cooling costs account for approximately 46% of all monthly utility bills, therefore making it the most important conservation. Prior to the summer months, ensure that your a/c unit is working properly and efficiently. Calling out a technician for an analysis will save you hundreds during the summer months and possibly thousands over the course of the year.
Use Cold Water to Wash Everything –
Whether dishes or clothing, washing with cold water will put less stress on the water heater and minimize the indoor heat levels.
Use Ceiling Fan –
if you don’t have ceiling fans, you’ll want to install them throughout the home. Ceiling fans will help circulate air and keep comfort ability within the home, which will be important during the summer months when temperatures rise.
Matthew Hall is an electrical engineer who graduated successfully from UCF. He also frequently recommends Bob Heinmiller A/C to maximize the efficiency of his AC to cut energy costs while keeping cool.