5 Must Follow Home Energy Savings Tips for Summer

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Everyone can take a few key steps to lower the amount of energy they use in their home. While you are reducing your carbon footprint, you will also be reducing your monthly utility bills.  Check out these five home energy savings tips for summer that are a win-win for everyone.

Replace those old air filters!

It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people overlook the main air filter on their air conditioner.  When the air filter is dirty, the unit has to work much harder to push the air through the dust and dirt.  Unfortunately, air filters are not quite as cheap as weather stripping.  If you want to avoid this cost, simply clean the filter regularly yourself.  It is recommended that this be done every three to four months to keep it from getting to the point of no return.  A good way to remember is to perform the routine cleaning on the first day of each season.

Install some high grade weather stripping

Weather stripping is no longer just a “winter” chore.  It does keep the cold air out, but it also keeps the heat out just as much in the summer.  If you are using an air conditioner without weather stripping, it is like you are also trying to cool the air around your house.  That is a task you do not want to foot the bill for!  The rule of thumb is that if daylight comes through any of the door frames in your house, you are wasting too much money and energy.  This also includes the bottom of the door, not just the sides.  Thankfully, this is a very cheap and easy chore to take care of.  With a few materials from any home improvement store, you can be sure that money isn’t sneaking out through the cracks.

Ceiling fans are a life saver

home energy savings tips

What home energy savings tips work for you?

Ceiling fans have this miraculous ability to recirculate the air in a room.  They draw the cold air down in while the hot air can rise above the fans.  They even work to keep rooms warm in during the cold months.  Even though they run on electricity, the are far less expensive to run than air conditioners and heaters.  If they are already in your home, you are lucky.  Take advantage of them.  Having them installed will be expensive at first, but they will pay for themselves in a few years.

Don’t forget your vents

Just as the filter needs to be clean to decrease the strain put on the air conditioner, the vents also need to be clean in order to allow the air to make it into the house.  When it is obstructed, the cool air can not do its job.  A small step you can take to improve the flow is to move any pieces of furniture that may be in front of them.  Try to keep objects several feet away from the center of the vent to allow for maximum flow.

You may also want to have your vents professionally cleaned by industrial-strength vacuums.  This will remove all dirt and debris that you cannot reach by yourself.  This is a pretty weighty up-front cost, but if you do it at the beginning of the summer, you will see a noticeable difference in your electric bill.  It is guaranteed to pay for itself.  However, if you can’t afford the professionals, use an extension on your home vacuum to clean them out a bit.

Install a thermostat

With a programmable thermostat, you can create a schedule based on your specific needs.  You can set it so that it will cool your home before you get home from work, but won’t waste the energy keeping it cool while the house is empty.  Over the years, programmable thermostats have gone significantly down in price.  All you need is one that has a timer; you do not need a full blown computer attached to the wall.

With these five tips, you can drastically reduce your energy bill this summer.  Your wallet will be a little heavier, your stress will be a little lighter, and you won’t have to sacrifice any of the comforts that you have become accustomed too.

What other home energy tips for the summer do you know?

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Published or updated December 6, 2012.

Comments

  1. Great tips. We were forced to replace our a/c hardware (coil, condensor, etc) about two months ago. The old model was 7 SEER efficiency and the new is 13. Our energy bills have dropped significantly year over year, despite this hot weather.

  2. No Debt MBA says:

    I love my ceiling fan in the summer. I just wish they were more common!

    • We don’t have any but I think we’ll consider them when we upgrade our lighting. We do have an attic fan that helps pull cool air upstairs.

  3. Great tips. I set a reminder in my e-mail to pop up a notification when it’s time to change my filter. We had ceiling fans in two bedrooms and just installed them in the other two bedrooms this spring, and they’ve been great.

    Two things I’d add: First, make sure to close blinds/shades on sides of the house where the sun is shining in. Second, I’d recommend a thermal temperature detector to check for leaks/hot-spots. Our bedroom was always five degrees warmer than the rest of the house (or colder in the winter) Turns out, whoever installed the ceiling fans (one of the original two I mentioned above) had left a small gap that was hidden by the decorative plate, but was big enough that it was (with the help of the fan) drawing hot air in right from the attic. About three cents worth of insulation later and the problem was solved.

    • You gotta love email/text reminders! So easy to use and can save you so much.

      Great advice in the blinds. What I found was it’s better for us to close them, for lack of a better description, facing the inside so the sun doesn’t come through the cracks.

      I think we could really use a thermal detector. I’m sure we have leaks.

  4. Cleaning the vents and changing the air filters also help with health issues. Particularly for those who have allergies and respiratory issues, these two steps can help a little bit. In my local coupon magazines, there are always coupons for relatively cheap services (who are licensed and bonded) to not only clean out the vents but also to sanitize the coils in the AC units.

    One other thing people here in South FL do is to put tinting on the house windows. It works in the same method as with a car and my parents have had a noticeable difference–their AC doesn’t run nearly as much after they had it done.

    • Never heard of window tinting for house windows but it makes sense.

      And you are right about the health issues. All that dust collecting on filters is blowing out with your air. Newer A/C’s may have filter warnings for when they need to be cleaned but better to get in a habit of checking them.

  5. We blew cellulose insulation into the walls of our home because we live in the snow belt and wanted to save on heating bills. But we find the house stays cooler longer since it’s been insulated. Perhaps its something southerners should look into too.

    Also, here in the North, the temps go down quite a bit at night (this would probably be true in desert locales as well). As soon as the sun goes down, we put a heavy duty fan in the bedroom window facing into the room. It sucks the cool night air into the house. So far, I’ve needed a comforter every night to sleep.

    Great reminders!

  6. Our utility company is offering rebates for certain energy saving improvements. I am looking into adding insulation.

  7. I have certainly seen the benefit of ceiling fans here in Cairo.

  8. Here is a link to Tint World’s home tinting service Glen http://www.tintworld.com/services/residential-services/solar-window-film/ It is relatively popular down here, and something that I’m seriously looking into for myself.

  9. Matt Wegner @ Financial Excellence says:

    Good tips Jon. I’m always forgetting to change out the filter. I think I need to set the email reminders like Money Beagle!

  10. I’m writing this to let you know of a new product that will help homeowners save money on their heating and cooling bills. The Larson Fan Company (on line) makes ventilation fan replacement inserts for ventilation fans made by the Broan and NuTone Companies, and is designed to save homeowners money on your utility bills by reducing the amount of energy their house uses. Typical homes can save 5-10% or more on their annually energy bills with these products. This is achieved because their ventilation fan inserts have an additional feature of an automatic built in damper. The built in damper will save homeowners money on their heating and cooling bills, by keeping warm air in their house during the winter, and preventing humid air from wicking into their house during the summer. This product really saves a lot when air conditioning is being used!

  11. Consider home window tinting. Aside from protection from ultra violet rays it has also energy saving benefits. Window tint helps filter out much of the sun’s heat, keeping the temperature inside your home cooler and more consistent during summer months, reducing cooling costs by as much as 30%. In addition, window tint can help keep heat inside your home during weather months by insulating the glass and reducing heat loss. Read more of home window tinting here http://www.technicaltinting.com/home-window-tinting-denver.php

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