The “Dog Days of Summer” were named for the days so hot that even dogs would just lie on the ground panting, unable to move with the hot summer air. With the extreme heat during these months comes a considerable hike in your energy bill, whether as the renter or owner of your home. Below are a few quick and easy tips to keep that electric bill down this summer, maybe even enough to start saving for your first home or a new vacation property!
1. Keep the Lights Off: Typically only 10-15% of the energy that lights consume is actually for light, the rest is turned into heat! Summer provides the most natural daylight, so take advantage of it. By using lights, not only are you consuming electricity, but you are inadvertently heating your home, costing more money to keep it cool with A/C or ceiling fans!
2. Check the Water Heater: Water heaters typically account for 18% of the energy consumed in your home. This occurs because traditional tank water heaters always keep the temperature of the water at the level that you set, whether it is being used or not. By turning the water heater temperature down during the summer it will save substantially on electricity. Plus who wants a piping hot shower when it’s 100 degrees out!
3. Keep Cool Air in the Home: Just as you don’t want cold air coming into your home during the winter the same rules apply with hot air during the summer. Ensure your doors and windows are tightly sealed and if needed caulk or weather-strip leaky doors or windows. By keeping the cool air in the house A/C units will run less frequently, saving a huge amount on your utility bill.
4. Use the Thermostat Wisely: One of the biggest mistakes when operating a thermostat is to set it extremely low when you are home and turn it off when you leave. Set your thermostat at a consistent temperature regardless and your A/C unit will run less frequently, thus saving you money. Not only that, but many people will set the temperature low and inadvertently leave it set, wasting a boatload of electricity. Just set it and forget it!
5. Ensure the Cooling System is Efficient: One of the easiest ways to ensure your cooling system runs efficiently is to make sure furniture or other objects are not blocking airflow ducts. Blocked vents can re-direct air back outside which is not where you want it! In addition, make sure your cooling units are serviced each spring to maximize efficiency. At the very least ensure the air filters are free of dirt and debris, allowing airflow to be maximized through the unit. Air filters should be changed every month.