Top 7 Energy Saving Tips for this Summer

Top 7 Energy Saving Tips for this Summer!Every summer as the heat steps up so does our utility bill. This year we are planning ahead on cutting back our energy consumption for the summer. It will do good to our environment and help us pocket a nice saving as well. After all, it makes sense to invest our hard earned dollars rather than giving them away to utility companies. Each dollar saved can help us go a long way if a rainy day comes along. So it makes all the more sense to maximize savings and optimize our energy footprint.

Energy savings during the summer revolves around its optimization in three main zones, namely:
  • air conditioner,
  • size of the house to be cooled and landscape around it
  • type of electrical appliances being used, their maintenance and efficiency.
Based on the above hypothesis and past experience, we feel that the following tips should be extremely effective in reducing our energy consumption during a hot summer:
  1. Right sized air-conditioner systemRight sized air-conditioner system: An improperly sized unit (whether it is central air conditioning or a window unit) almost always uses more energy than necessary. If our unit is too small it will end up working too hard and if its too big it will not be efficient. In both cases there will be higher electricity consumption. So we should have a good idea of the area we need to cool and a proper size for the corresponding air conditioning unit. Also, window air conditioning units are usually not designed to cool more than one room.

  2. Plug air leaks and change filtersPlug air leaks and change filters: It makes sense to weather strip and caulk any leaky doors and windows. Another handy tip is to install foam gaskets behind outlet covers. Leaks are a primary cause for higher cooling costs. A clean filter in our air conditioner helps it to run at optimum efficiency. It also improves the quality of air circulating in our house. For homes with central air, it is important to change the filter before the start of the cooling season and on a monthly basis thereafter.

  3. Use a programmable thermostatUse a programmable thermostat: This device helps us to tune the cooling needs of the house according to our personal schedule. It can typically save 10%-15% without compromising personal comfort. We usually keep our thermostat at a higher temperature in the summer. Raising the temperature just 2 degrees can reduce cooling costs by as much as 5 percent. And in the process the thermostat eventually ends up saving us much more money than it's cost price.

  4. Perform regular checkups of the system and insulationPerform regular checkups of the system and insulation: It helps to keep our cooling system working smoothly to minimize chances of failure during the hottest days of the summer when the system is working on full throttle. Also, it always pays to check insulation levels. If necessary, add insulation in attics and crawl spaces. By doing so, we've not only conserved energy, but also improved the overall household comfort.

  5. Use energy efficient landscaping and keep curtains closedUse energy efficient landscaping and keep curtains closed: Leafy trees and shrubs when properly placed can provide natural shade to our homes and help it remain cool during the peak day time heat. Also for better air flow, trim weeds and shrubs, and make sure that an outside air conditioning unit is not blocked by them. We usually draw curtains and shut blinds on windows facing the sun. This insulates the house and keeps it cool.

  6. Cooling alternatives and energy efficient devicesCooling alternatives and energy efficient devices: We regularly use fans and dehumidifiers since they consume less energy than air conditioners. Along with it they also increase our comfort by reducing humidity levels and maintaining a steady air flow. Another trick for lowering electricity usage is to go for energy efficient cooling equipment and electrical appliances like compact fluorescent bulbs.

  7. Use timers for turning off lights and unplug electronic appliancesUse timers for turning off lights and unplug electronic appliances: Though the savings might appear tiny, it always helps to use a timer to turn lights off and on while we are away rather than leaving them on forever. Keeps burglars at bay too. The same is true regarding unplugging electronic appliances while they are not in use. After all, little drops of savings do add up.

We are looking forward towards your feedback and experiences regarding saving electricity this summer. Please leave a comment. Happy energy savings to all!

Image Source(s): iStockPhoto

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