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
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.