Summer is in full swing and reports of record heat waves are putting the energy grid to the test. State governments are asking consumers from New Jersey to Texas to reduce their energy usage and avoid the costs increased with this increase in demand. Are you looking for solutions for how to stay cool while keeping your energy usage and costs down?
Here is our top ten countdown of tips to beat the heat, reduce your demand on the grid and keep more money in your pocket for summer fun with the family.
10. AC Checkup & Maintenance: Clean filters and regular maintenance of your home cooling unit is essential for maximizing your home’s cooling system efficiency.
9. Adjust the Thermostat: There’s no way around it. The easiest way to use less energy and save money is to literally use less energy. Set your thermostat to the highest setting possible for comfort. Avoid cranking the AC up so high that you need to put on a sweater. One study found that for every degree above 75F that a thermostat was set, the homeowner’s energy usage or cost savings were reduced by up to 15%.
8. Enjoy the great outdoors: For every minute you’re out enjoying time with family and friends that isn’t always possible in the colder winter months, you’re saving energy. State parks, beaches, the community pool and even your own backyard are great places to enjoy nature and reduce your carbon footprint! Carpe diem!
7. Unplug all the things: Did you know that appliances, chargers, and standard power strips use “phantom” or “standby” electricity when not in use? This can significantly raise usage and costs over time. When you are not at home or not using these appliances and devices, unplug and save!
6. Use fans with or instead of AC: So we’ve already mentioned how making your AC more efficient is key. But how can fans help? Fans use about 1/60th of the energy an air conditioner uses? A ceiling fan can reduce electricity usage by up to 40% when used in conjunction with air conditioning. Even though fans don’t technically cool the air, they do pll body heat away from the skin and can circulate the cool air from an air conditioner more efficiently throughout a space, allowing you to raise the thermostat a degree or two.
5. Trees & Landscaping: We all know how great it feels to walk under a shady tree on a hot summer day and instantly feel that difference in the temperature. Now imagine you’re a home AC unit or sunny room! Strategic landscaping of shrubs and trees located on the west and south sides of your home and around your outdoor AC unit can have a huge impact on your energy use.
4. Use Less Hot Water: Even though laundry doesn’t take a summer vacation, you can reduce your costs and energy usage. 18% of the energy used in the average home is for water heating. Summer is a great time for cooler showers and hanging clothes on the line. When you do laundry or use the dishwasher make sure you have a full load to maximize efficiency. Turn down your temperature on your hot water tank.
3. Windows and Window Treatments: Keep especially sunny rooms on the west or south side of your house cool with weather-smart windows and window treatments to reduce the hot sunlight from raising temperatures in the room. At night when the sun goes down and temperatures drop, open windows to allow breezes through your home.
2. Shut Vents and Doors: If you’re not using a room or it’s a storage area, keep the doors and AC vents closed. That cool air won’t be felt and could be more efficiently sent to the populated rooms in the home and reduce usage overall. 1. AND THE #1 WAY TO REDUCE COSTS AND ENERGY USAGE ALL YEAR ROUND...THAT’S RIGHT...GO SOLAR! Of course, we believe that when you install solar panels, it is the most efficient and cost saving way to reduce your home’s impact on the environment. Installing solar panels will provide you with clean, pure energy from the sun and helps combat greenhouse gas emissions. This reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuel and has incredible benefits for you as a homeowner. You can reduce your home energy costs by 35-40% on average when you use solar energy to power your home. Instead of seeing your costs go up when the sun is blazing, you can tap into that solar power, all while doing your part to ease up pressure on the power grid and conserving precious resources. If you’re asking “how much can I save with solar panels?” just call us now for your free home estimate!