Energy rates are increasing, making it more important for budget-minded consumers to conserve. Saving energy also helps the planet, preserving it for future generations. Many household energy bills skyrocket during summer due to warm outdoor temperatures. It is not difficult or costly to reduce energy use during the summer and continuing the practice throughout the year will save money year round.
Step 1: If you use wall or central air conditioning, increase the thermostat by between two and four degrees. Use ceiling fans or small portable fans to circulate air through each room, making the area feel cooler. These fans reduce the reliance on air conditioning and cost less to operate. Many families are able to keep their home thermostat at between 74 and 76 degrees and use only portable or ceiling fans to stay comfortable. If no one is home during the day, purchase and install a programmable thermostat and set it to turn on the air conditioning shortly before you arrive home, cooling the home for the night.
Step 2: Contact your electricity provider to see if it offers an energy saving program. A device will be installed to control electricity use during peak hours and participants receive a discount on their electricity bill. This is ideal for families who are away from the house during the day or for a vacation home.
Step 3: Just like you use window coverings to block cold air during winter, use them to block warm air and the sun during summer. Curtains and shades are particularly effective at protecting the west and south sides of the home from all-day heat and peak temperatures during the afternoon. Keep the windows covered during these times.
Step 4: Prepare your meals outside on the grill. This keeps the stove and oven from heating up the home and uses less energy to cook food. Some families even prepare only cold meals like cold cuts and salads during certain days of the week, avoiding cooking.
Step 5: Install an attic fan to pull hot air through the house and force it outside. This also creates nice air flow, making the interior of the home feel cooler.
Step 6: Fully insulating the home keeps it cooler during warm weather and warm during cold months.
Step 7: Put down storm windows and make sure that door and window weather stripping is sufficient to prevent hot air from entering the home.