Summer has (officially) arrived and with it higher electricity bills. In addition to regularly changing the air filter and keeping the outdoor unit clean and clear of debris, there are a variety of ways to keep your home comfortable without breaking the bank. Below are five super easy and inexpensive things you can do to help save energy (and money) this summer and throughout the year.
- Keep it dark. Keeping blinds and curtains closed while the sun is up makes it easier for the AC system to keep your home cool. However, natural sunlight is a better option than turning on the lights during the day—it’s important to be conscious of the changing position of the sun throughout the day and modify your window coverings as the sun moves. Indirect sunlight is the best way to go.
- Lock it down. Ensure that your duct system is leak free and you aren’t cooling your attic, crawl spaces, porches, or garage via drafty doors, windows, and fireplaces. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal any leaks and keep your home as airtight as possible.
- Fans. Fans. Fans. Though fans don’t actually cool the air in your home, they circulate the air and keep it moving. Fans require less energy than your AC unit and are a great way to keep you cool. However, remember to turn them off when you leave the room. Since they don’t cool the air, leaving them turned on only wastes energy if no one is in the room to feel the moving air.
- Use a dehumidifier. Getting rid of the humidity will instantly make it feel cooler. Combining a good dehumidifier with supplemental fans will allow you to keep your base “comfortable” temperature a few degrees higher—ultimately saving you money.
- Use the sun. Of all your appliances, the dryer is widely considered one of the biggest energy users. It take a lot of energy to generate the heat required to dry your clothes—and some always escapes and contributes to heating up your home. If you can, hang your clothes to dry outside this summer. Your energy bill will be smaller, and you’ll smell like sunshine.