5 Ways to Beat the Heat and Keep Summer Energy Bills in Check
Posted On: July 7, 2023
Staying comfortable on hot days doesn’t have to come at a sky-high price. Follow these tips to keep your home cool and your summer energy bills in check.
Optimize your thermostat.
To maximize your energy efficiency in the heat, start with your temperature settings. Instead of turning the temperature down to extreme levels, find the highest temperature that maintains comfort for everyone in your home. This may take some finessing to find that perfect setting, but don’t give up. Every degree of extra cooling increases your energy usage 6% to 8%.
Other strategies to tame your thermostat include:
- Program your thermostat to match your daily home/away schedule.
- Set the temperature a few degrees higher when the house will be empty for several hours.
- Turn off the air conditioner completely when you’re on vacation.
- Use your mobile device to adjust temperature settings on the go.
Turn on a ceiling fan.Once you have a handle on your thermostat settings, bump the temperature up a bit more by utilizing ceiling fans in occupied rooms. Though fans don’t make the air any colder, the circulation does create a cooling sensation on your skin. Using ceiling fans strategically will let you increase your thermostat setting by up to 4 degrees without reducing your comfort.
Keep the heat OUT.Don’t let the sun undo all of your energy-saving progress thus far! It can enter your home as heat through your windows — a process called solar heat gain. Closing blinds and curtains during the daytime will help minimize solar heat gain.
Keep the cool air IN.Cool air escaping your home makes your air conditioner work harder than it needs to. Do your best to eliminate all exit points by properly sealing gaps around windows and doors. And remind everyone in the home to keep windows and doors closed when the AC is running
Reduce heat-adding activities.Whenever possible, avoid generating more heat in your home by finding alternative solutions to everyday activities. Consider these examples:
- Grill outdoors, use a slow cooker or opt for a salad instead of using the oven and stovetop.
- Handwash dishes or turn off the heated dry cycle of your dishwasher.
- Take shorter, cooler showers instead of long, hot showers.
- Line-dry laundry instead of using the clothes dryer.