When temperatures soar, saving money on your utility bills can be a serious challenge. For a more energy-efficient summer, and a little extra spending money, try following these simple energy-saving guidelines:
- Open your windows. Whenever the temperature drops, on cooler days or overnight, give your air conditioner a break and enjoy some natural ventilation.
- Install window coverings. Drapes and blinds can help to keep your home cool by combatting the hot sun.
- Don’t set your thermostat too low. The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Consider a programmable thermostat. Set temperatures differently for the times when you’ll be sleeping or out of the house, and you can automatically save money year-round.
- Use your ceiling fans. If you use a ceiling fan along with your air conditioning, you could raise your thermostat setting by up to 4° with no reduction in comfort.
- Keep your air conditioner running efficiently. Change the air filter when necessary, and be sure to schedule a regular tune-up with Blind & Sons to keep your system in top condition.
- Avoid the oven when possible. Using the oven will add heat to your home, so consider using the stove or microwave, or grilling outside. If you do need to use your oven, consider baking in the morning hours when its cooler outside and your air conditioning may not need to be used.
- Fill your fridge. Having lots of food in your refrigerator keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. Keep it filled, and your fridge won't have to work as hard to stay cool.
- Choose energy-efficient lighting. Only about 10-15% of the electricity consumed by incandescent bulbs results in light — the rest is turned into heat. Consider compact fluorescent bulbs, which use less energy and emit a brighter light. They also last longer, saving you money.
- Take shorter, cooler showers. By altering your routine just a bit each day, you could see a significant change in your bills.
- Wash dishes and clothes wisely. Wash only full loads and consider air drying whenever possible.
- Turn down your water heater. Lowering the temperature to the warm setting (120°) will not only prevent you from scalding your hands, it will help you save energy and lower costs.
Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, Freshome