The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and Momentum Solar customers are enjoying even more energy savings due to longer, sunnier days. You know what that means: it must be summer! You already have good habits that help you save energy, but there may be some more tips and tricks you haven’t considered before.
Saving energy this summer shouldn’t be a major challenge. Here are 10 energy saving tips for the summer to help you be greener while saving more:
1. Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Replace the light bulbs throughout your home with more efficient LED bulbs. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2017, the U.S. residential sector and the commercial sector used about 273 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity just for lighting. This was about 10% of the total electricity consumed by both sectors and about 7% of total U.S. electricity consumption.1 By switching to LEDs, you’ll use about 75-80% less energy and you won’t need to change your bulbs for at least 10 years — if not longer.
2. Cook Outside
It can get hot in the kitchen. Instead of using your stove and oven every single day, consider grilling outside during the summer to cut energy costs a bit. Using an indoor stove or oven can raise the temperature in your kitchen as much as 5 to 10 degrees, forcing air conditioning system to work harder and longer. Avoid it if you can!
3. Unplug Devices
It’s easy not to think about all the electronics you leave plugged in throughout your house, but these gadgets can use a lot of energy even when they’re idle. To see a positive impact on your electricity bill, take the extra few seconds to unplug items around your house that you aren’t using – the coffee maker, your lamps, TVs … anything that can be easily hooked up again when you need it. It can make a difference!
4. Add Insulation
Homes often leak cool air during the summer because of extra spaces in between walls, pipes, connections, and vents. If you get an energy audit conducted for your home, you can ensure everything is properly sealed —. there’s no point in trying to cool down your home if half of the air is leaking out. Professional inspectors can make sure your home is leak-free and is operating as efficiently as possible.
5. Use Your Windows and Blinds
If you live in a climate with breezy, cool nights, utilize that natural ventilation that relies on the wind and the ‘chimney effect’ to keep your home cool. Additionally, when the sun is at its hottest, pull your blinds closed to block the heat — your home will feel even cooler and your air conditioner will get a break.
6. Use a Programmable Thermostat
There are ways to stay cool without turning on your air conditioner, but when the summer temperatures start climbing to 90 (or even a 100!) degrees, using your air conditioner is a must. You should set your thermostat as high as your comfort level allows. When you’re away from home, try turning your AC up to around 85 degrees and make sure the windows and drapes are closed. While it will be hot for a few minutes when you get home, the blinds will prevent the heat and humidity from coming through your windows. This method will make sure your system won’t have to work harder to cool your house.
7. Hang Your Laundry Outside to Air Dry
Take advantage of the sunlight and hot days to air dry your laundry. This old-school method allows you to bypass your drying machine and dramatically reduce your electricity use. It will also preserve the quality of your clothes as an added benefit. By using less energy, you’ll not only save on your energy bills but also help the environment by using fewer fossil fuels.
8. Turn on Your Ceiling Fan
We rely on our air conditioners to keep things cool most of the time, but you can also easily cut down on energy costs by utilizing ceiling fans. They can give your air conditioning unit a break and serves as yet another energy saver.
9. Make Monthly Filter Checks Mandatory
Do not neglect the filter in your AC unite. By not regularly checking and changing out your filters following the manufacturer’s directions, your AC could be working overtime which results in a higher energy bill for you. Be sure to clean or replace your filters monthly for more efficient operation.
10. Adjust the Water Heater
By using hot water to do your laundry, you’re wasting even more energy and money. Most laundry detergents are now formulated to work just as well with cold water as it does with hot water. Additionally, take a shorter shower if your water is lukewarm water — this will not only reduce your energy bill but also help reduce your water usage.
11. Go Solar!
Longer days mean more sunlight, and more sunlight means more savings for homes powered by the sun. Summer months have always been considered optimal for solar output due to more hours of sunlight and thus, producing more solar energy.