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Save Money This Summer With These Energy Efficient Tips

May 31, 2013

Energy Saving HomeAs summer approaches, it is imperative to be energy efficient to avoid high energy bills.  As a home owner, there are several measures that you can take to control, or lower, your monthly utility bills.  These suggestions will improve the way your home uses energy, and even offer ideas that you and your family can implement to be more energy efficient during the coming hot, summer months.

 

Air Conditioning

sunshine  Monitor your heating and cooling systems.  Replace air filters once a month to maintain an adequate and clean air flow which will reduce energy costs.

sunshine  Keep the registers and vents free of dust, dirt and other blockages.

sunshine  Keep vents and doors closed in rooms that aren’t used.

sunshine  Give your AC a tune up.

sunshine  Set your thermostat fan to “auto” instead of “on”.

sunshine  Open interior doors so that cool air will flow freely throughout your home.

sunshine  Grill outdoors more often during the hot summer months.  The oven and stove will force your AC to work harder.

sunshine  Keep outdoor air unit clean and clear of debris.

sunshine  Keep your thermostat around 78 degrees.

sunshine  Dress appropriately for the weather so you can keep your thermostat as high as possible.

Insulation

sunshine  Add or replace insulation.  Appropriate insulation can save you up to 30% on your heating bill.

sunshine  Insulation of attic, floors, exterior walls and crawl spaces can help prevent energy loss.

sunshine  Choose high-quality materials and replace matted or town insulation.

 

Windows and Doors

sunshine  Use shades, blinds, drapes, awnings, trees and shrubs to shield the sun from heating up your home, whether it is inside or an outdoor porch.

sunshine  Caulk and add weather stripping around windows and doors, as your home may have small openings around doors and windows that allow for heat or cool air loss.  Caulk and weather stripping can reduce energy loss and protect your home from moisture damage.

sunshine  Install storm windows and storm doors for spring and summer.   This can reduce energy usage by serving as a barrier to your outdoor environment.

sunshine  Don’t leave windows or doors open when the AC is running.

sunshine  Replace windows with high-performance windows to eliminate “hot spots”.

Ceiling Fans

sunshine  Install ceiling fans to help more evenly distribute cool air generated from your AC.

sunshine  Switch the ceiling fans to counter clockwise in the summer.

sunshine  Turn off kitchen and bath fans immediately after use.

Water

sunshine  Shut off water when you brush your teeth, wash dishes by hand, etc.

sunshine  Run the washer and dishwasher only when they are full.

sunshine  Fix leaky faucets.

sunshine  Wrap your water heater with insulation or install an insulating blanket.

sunshine  Set your dishwasher to economy mode.

sunshine  Wash your clothes and shower with cold water.

sunshine  Reduce your water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees.

sunshine  Check hot water pipes for leaks.

Lighting

sunshine  Turn out lights not in use.

sunshine  In the cooler parts of the day, open the windows and let Mother Nature light your home.

sunshine  Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents.  They use 75% less energy and last ten times longer.

sunshine  Use low-watt bulbs when lighting is not critical.

sunshine  Place floor lamps and hanging lamps in corners.  The reflection of the light on the walls will create more light.

sunshine  Turn off outdoor lighting during the day.

sunshine  Use motion detector lights for outdoor lighting at night.

 

Appliances

sunshine  If you need to buy more appliances, get the most energy efficient models that you can afford.  Look for appliances that have earned the Energy Star.  These can cut your bills down by $450 a year.

sunshine  Plan meals ahead and bake more than one at a time.

sunshine  Cook with lids on your pots to conserve energy used when cooking.

sunshine  Use cooper-bottomed pots and pans that use heat more efficiently when cooking on the stove.

sunshine  Turn off ovens and burners when the food is almost ready, and let the existing heat finish cooking your food.

sunshine  Use tight fitting covers on pots and pans to shorten cooking time.

sunshine  Match your pot size to the size of the burner.

sunshine  Use the microwave or toaster oven to heat up smaller items and leftovers.

sunshine  Close the refrigerator door completely.  It is one of the most used appliances, as it runs 24 hours a day.

sunshine  Replace worn out seals on your refrigerator and freezer.

sunshine  Set your refrigerator at 36 to 39 degrees and your freezer at 0 to 5 degrees.

sunshine  Defrost frozen food in the fridge before cooking.

sunshine  Keep the freezer full.  The fuller the freezer, the less cold air you lose when you open the door.

sunshine  Unplug a second refrigerator outside in the hot garage.

sunshine  Air dry dishes instead of heat dry.

sunshine  Make sure your dryer’s outside vent is clear and clean the lint filter after every load.

sunshine  Avoid over drying your clothes.

sunshine  When doing several loads of laundry, dry each load of clothes immediately after the other one to reduce heat loss.

sunshine  Use the self clean cycle of your oven right after you finish baking to give it a head start on heating up.

sunshine  Read appliance manuals for information on how to take care of them and possible energy saving tips.

sunshine  Use power strips for home electronics and turn off the power strips when equipment is not in use.

sunshine  Unplug battery chargers when the battery is fully charged or it’s not being used.

Without a doubt, attempting to cool down your home and yourself throughout the summer months will increase your bills.  Using these cost effective tips will ensure you stay as comfortable as possible by cutting back on energy use elsewhere throughout your home and utilizing the essential energy efficiently.

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