Energy Saving Tips For The Summer

Energy Saving Tips For The Summer

energyEvery year, along with the beautiful weather, a barbeque every weekend, and sunburns at baseball games, comes those high energy bills from trying to keep your home cool.  Summer heat in most US climates can be difficult to deal with without spiking energy bills, but read on for a few tips on how you can lower both your cooling bill and your environmental impact.

Thermostat Operation

  • Many modern thermostats have programmable functions.  Use them to keep your house at a warmer temperature while you are away and return to comfort when you are coming home.  If yours is not programmable, make it part of your morning routine to turn up the temperature before you leave.
  • Keep your TV and other appliances away from the thermostat – the warmth from the appliance may cause the thermostat to think the room is warmer than it is.
  • Put your thermostat at a temperature that is as high as comfortably possible.
  • Some people like walking into a really cold room when coming in from the outside, but besides the possible health risks, it takes an insane amount of energy to maintain those abusively low temperatures.  Give up the notion that the temperature has to be freezing for you to be comfortable

Use fans

  • By installing and operating ceiling fans, you can set your thermostat a full 4ºF warmer than otherwise, without any change in comfort.
  • Place a box fan blowing inwards in one window and one blowing out in another to create a breeze through the entire space.
  • Be sure to turn these fans off when you leave the room.  They cool the people in the room through a chilling effect, not by cooling the room itself.

Operate Your Appliances Efficiently

  • Use the dishwasher – it uses less water than washing dishes by hand.  However, let the dishes drip dry instead of using the heating function.  After your dishes are clean, they don’t need to be sterilized unless you are running an industrial food preparation operation.  And despite your arguments otherwise, a family of 5 is not industrial.
  • Let your clothes air dry.  You will enjoy the different feeling and fresh smell of clothes dried in the wind.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Turn your water heater down a bit – 120ºF is sufficient for most purposes.
  • Turn off any appliances that you aren’t using and are releasing heat – many TVs and DVD players use energy and release heat even when they are not in use.

Cool Your House Naturally

  • Open your windows at night if you live in a climate where it cools off at night.  Then, before the sun shines in in the morning, close the windows and blinds or shutters.
  • Installing outdoor shutters prevents the sun from warming the curtains inside your window – they can even be designed to let in indirect light!
  • Outdoor curtains can block sun from entering a patio area, while allowing a breeze to flow around.

Strategic Landscaping

  • A well-placed deciduous tree can offer shade over a window in the hot summer months, but losing its leaves, allows the sun to warm the room in the winter.
  • Strategically placed shrubs and fences can direct summer breezes to flow through the home more strongly than in their absence.

Whatever your strategy is, following a number of these steps can help you reduce your energy bill and your impact on the environment without affecting your comfort in the least

This is a guest post by Lilly Sheperd, an occasional blogger, mainly interested in green related articles.