How to prevent high energy bills during the summer
As summer temperatures rise, so do electric bills. Home cooling makes up a large portion of your energy bills. Try to keep the difference between the temperature of your thermostat setting and the outside temperature to a minimum. The smaller the difference, the more energy you will save.
Here are more ways to combat weather’s effects:
Weatherize your home: Your home’s first line of defense against the weather is physically blocking hot or cold air from entering. Air leaks or ineffective insulation in your walls means that the outside weather is coming in and your comfortable indoor air is leaving. Windows are trouble spots for air escaping or entering. Consider installing shades, blinds, curtains or shutters if your windows don’t already have any, especially on south- and west-facing windows. Close these in summer months to reduce heat from sunlight and open them in winter months to heat your home naturally, since 76 percent of sunlight that shines on standard double-pane windows enters your house to become heat.
Adjust the temperature with seasons, at night or when you leave the house: The greater the difference between the temperature outside and what’s set inside, the harder your home HVAC system has to work. Keeping your thermostat at the same setting all the time leads to it working harder when outside temperatures rise or dip into extreme numbers. The US Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter when you are home. You can set it closer to the outside temperature when you are asleep or away to save even more. A smart thermostat can automatically learn your schedule and change the temperature for you before you wake or return home, so it feels just as comfortable.
Use room-specific heating or cooling measures: By changing the temperature only in the rooms people are using, your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the entire house at a set temperature. If you’re feeling hot in the summer, try sitting under or by a fan to feel about 4 to 6 degrees cooler. Since fans don’t actually change the air temperature and only cool you down when you are near it, make sure to turn it off when you leave the room. With incandescent and halogen light, 90 percent of the energy used is wasted to generate more heat. Switch them to LEDs, and this will lead to less heat entering your room and less energy used.
Cook outdoors: When the weather is nice, put your grill to use! During summer months, cooking outdoors is a great way to save energy and eliminate unwanted heat from cooking indoors.
With a few easy changes, your home will be more equipped to handle the hot outside air without sacrificing inside comfort – and these changes will benefit you as the cool arrives this winter as well.