Summer months often bring peak energy consumption, especially when temperatures climb. While homeowners can’t control the weather, they can bring down energy costs and consumption, and allow for a more stress-free summer season. Start with these tips to prepare your home for the summer heat.
Home insulation is one of the easiest improvements to boost a home’s energy efficiency. If the attic is not insulated, heat will move through the roof into the attic, then into the main home. This causes the air conditioning to work harder to keep the house cool, and it also drives up electric bills. When the attic is insulated, heat won’t seep into the home, so everyone feels more comfortable.
Materials used to insulate homes are ranked on an R-value scale, which measures their ability to resist heat flow. Homes in varying climates have varying needs for insulation. Homes in hot climates need insulation with an R-value of 30, while homes in temperate climates should be equipped with R-38 insulation and homes in cold climates require R-49 insulation.
If the windows and doors leak air between the outdoors and the inside of the home, chilled air will escape outside and vice versa. Energy costs rise as a result. By sealing air leaks using weatherstripping and caulk, home owners can keep the cool air in, potentially cut the costs down all summer long, and improve the home’s energy efficiency.
Two simple ways to save are to close doors to rooms when no one is in them and draw the curtains during the day. The HVAC system is only cooling the areas of the home that are occupied when interior doors are shut. When the curtains are drawn, solar heat won’t penetrate the home and heat up rooms.
Annual inspection and tune-up keeps the air conditioner working efficiently. A technician can clean the unit and replace the filter, so the air conditioner works optimally, as well as repair or replace worn-out parts. The technician can also advise on the unit’s remaining useful life, to help plan for replacement.
On hot days, air conditioners may be necessary to increase comfort in the home. When paired with ceiling fans, home owners can turn the air conditioner up by as much as four degrees with no comfort reduction. The ceiling fans push cold air back down and create a “wind chill” that helps people feel cool. For the most energy savings, use fans and air conditioners that have an Energy Star label.
Homeowners may be able to use an energy device to get motors operating more efficiently, reducing energy waste by capturing and recycling consumed energy to slow demand from the grid. For additional savings, investigate energy devices, such as the Electric Saver 1200, or the ES1200+ Surge which is a top of the line unit that will protect your entire home from spikes & surges.
Take advantage of summer heat and air dry clothing and bedding on a clothesline. Clothes dryers are one of the major energy hogs within a home, and there is no need to use the dryer when nature allows homeowners to dry clothes for free.
Cooking in the oven heats up the home, which in turn means the air conditioner has to work overtime to cool down the house. When it’s hot out, use alternate modes of cooking, whether it’s a toaster oven, microwave, stove-top, or patio grill. Summer is also an ideal time for relying on cold meals that require no cooking, including salads and sandwiches.
Homes with full to part shade exposure get less hot than homes with a full sun exposure, so HVAC systems do not need to work as hard to cool down the house. While it may take a long time to pay off, planting trees that will shade the house not only helps the environment — since trees reduce CO2 emissions — but curbs home cooling costs.
We hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for visiting our blog, we loved having you here. For even more tips to save on electricity bills, visit these posts: Easy Ways to Energy Efficient Savings & Our 20% Ultimate Savings Guide.
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