No one enjoys being faced with a high energy bill. Unfortunately, with summer just around the corner and temperatures heating up, your home may soon be facing off with your electric company.
The good news is there are plenty of ways you can keep your home cool this season without digging into your savings account. Here are a few tips you can use to stay cool this summer while still saving energy.
- Have your HVAC inspected in advance. The early bird catches the worm with energy savings when it comes to your HVAC system. In fact, efficient HVAC systems need maintenance inspections at least twice a year. Maintenance ensures your system doesn’t have any issues that could cause it to overwork itself or malfunction when you need it the most. Be sure to change out your system’s air filters every three months while you’re at it to keep your home clear of allergens and debris.
- Use natural ventilation to your advantage. If you live in an area where the air cools down at night, consider turning off your HVAC system and opening your windows while you sleep. You can shut the windows again in the morning and close the blinds or curtains to keep the air cool. Certain air coverings such as blackout curtains can help to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- Use your water wisely. The average family of four uses up to 400 gallons of water every day. To help save on your water bill, turn off your sink or shower when you’re not using it such as when you’re brushing your teeth, applying soap to your skin, or scrubbing the dishes.
- Use fans to circulate the air. Ceiling fans and ENERGY STAR fans are a great way to get the cool air in your home circulating without turning down your thermostat. However, it’s recommended to turn these fans off when you’re no longer in the room to use them. Fans are designed to help cool down your skin by creating a wind chill effect. ENERGY STAR ventilating fans are recommended for areas where heat and humidity can build up in your home, too. These areas include your laundry room and your bathroom if you don’t have fans installed there already.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater. The last thing you want during a hot summer day is to get into an even hotter shower. As it turns out, water heating accounts for up to 18% of the energy that’s consumed in your home. To keep from scalding your hands when you turn on the sink and to help reduce your energy costs this summer, lower your water heater to the warm setting. This setting is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure your water heater is in good condition in the first place — the standard water heater lasts 10 to 15 years before corrosion causes wear and tear.
- Make sure your attic is insulated. When you have poor insulation in your attic, your home attempts to equalize the temperature inside your home with the outside air. Your home’s heat or cool air escapes from the attic, leading to your home feeling too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Call in your local professionals to seal up the cracks in your attic and you’ll reduce your energy expenses year-round.
There are many different factors that can increase your home’s energy bills. By following the tips above, you can help to keep your energy bills down this summer without foregoing your comfort.