Today, more people are making positive changes to help the planet and environment than ever. In fact, 48% of people who are looking for new homes cite “energy-efficiency” as the feature they desire most. And not only does reducing energy and water use help the environment, it can help homeowners save money too. But during the summer, it can be difficult to reduce energy expenses. So here are a few tips to help you stay cool this summer while saving on energy costs.
First, start with your windows. If you have central air conditioning, then you need to make sure there are no holes or gaps around your windows. These gaps can let out the cool air and can cause your energy bills to skyrocket. If you don’t have AC, then you should learn more about natural ventilation that can help keep your home cool. Overall, you should keep the windows shut and the shades closed during the day to keep the cool air in. And if it’s cool at night, open your windows to let the cool air in. Windows and window coverings can make a big difference in cooling your home without increasing energy bills.
For those homeowners who are planning on using their AC all summer long, it’s important to ensure your unit is in tip-top shape. One of the most important things to do is to change the air conditioning filter. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, causing the unit to work harder and increase energy costs. So always change your air filter as recommended to avoid unnecessary energy use.
If you’re looking for long-term help with saving on energy costs, you should consider planting some trees in your yard. If you plant deciduous trees, they can help block between 60% and 90% of the sun’s rays. While you may not see this benefit for a few years, it can pay off in the long run — and add some interest to your yard.
With kids out of school, the laundry machine and dishwasher may be running more often than usual. This can cause energy bills to increase, so it’s important to be strategic about using these machines. Ideally, you should always run a full load to avoid having to do unnecessary multiple loads. Additionally, if the machines have the option, avoid using hot water to cut down on costs.
Another big water use at home is sinks. Especially with the kids home, there’s going to be more hand-washing than normal. And while this alone can cost more money, leaks are the thing to aware of. Simple leaks can waste almost 10,000 gallons of water every year — which can amount to a large water bill. So if there’s a leak in the plumbing, it’s important to get it fixed right away. Not only are leaks annoying, they cause money to literally go down the drain.
Between air conditioning, extra loads of laundry and dishes, and more people using water in the house, summer can really drain the bank account. But with these simple tips, homeowners can cut down energy costs and enjoy their summer.