We wait impatiently all winter for the warmth of summer and as soon as it arrives we start stressing about how much that warmth is costing us!
Summer’s soaring temperatures drive up your energy bills whether you have air con or not.
High temperatures cause air conditioning, which can account for up to half your summer energy bill, to run more often to maintain a comfortable temperature inside.
If you don’t have air con (I don’t) then you end up with fans going in every room for many hours each day.
Thankfully there are steps you can take to lower your energy bill while still staying cool.
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1. Turn Up The Thermostat
If you’ve got air con (I am jealous!) then raise your thermostat a degree or two more than what you normally consider comfortable.
You are not likely to notice a major difference, but the unit will kick on less often, resulting in energy savings. Also, raise the temperature an extra five degrees or so when you are not home.
Investing in a programmable thermostat will help in your efforts as they make adjusting temps so much easier.
2. Maintain Your System
Just like boilers/furnaces, air conditioning systems are more efficient when regularly maintained. Change filters indoors monthly or as recommended by the filter manufacturer.
Yearly maintenance on the unit, including cleaning coils and ensuring proper refrigerant levels increase efficiency and therefore use less energy.
3. Add shade
Use blinds, shades, and drapes to prevent the sun’s rays from heating up your home. Insulating blinds that block out the extra heat are a good investment.
It might feel wrong to block out the sun by drawing your curtains but believe me, it makes a huge difference to the temperature inside your house or apartment on a hot day.
I’ve even tested it in our house and the difference on a hot day is over 10F degrees (5 degrees C), and we don’t live in a hot climate!
Trees can also be planted with the aim of eventually shading the house and roof.
4. Use Fans
A little uncomfortable with the thermostat’s new higher temperature? Use a fan or ceiling fan for extra cooling. In summer, ceiling fans should be run on high and in reverse (counter-clockwise).
5. Switch Light Bulbs
Trade out your old-fashioned incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. They cost more but use less energy and last ten times longer. The savings offered will more than cover the cost.
Thy also help keep the temperature down as old bulbs and halogen bulbs kick out quite a bit of heat. Something you don’t need in the height of summer!
6. Save With Appliances
If purchasing new appliances, consider the Energy Star rating when making your purchase. Aim to get the best energy rated appliance within your budget, it’ll save you more money in the long run.
In the meantime, make sure your current appliances are maintained and running properly.
Additional steps to take include:
- Check refrigerator seals and clean coils
- Wash in cold water
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- Lower water heater temperature before leaving town. An ideal temperature when at home is 120°
7. Seek Assistance
Your local energy company can provide a wealth of energy-saving information.
Many will send a qualified professional to perform an energy audit to help you identify energy drains in your home. They offer incentives for energy-saving purchases and repairs.
Follow these tips and be rewarded with a lower energy bill and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping the planet.
For help with keeping your house warm, have a ready of my post about how to winterize your home and reduce energy bills.
You may also like: 5 Ways to Have a Green Summer Vacation
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Last Updated on 22nd June 2021 by Emma