Summer is a beautiful time of year, with lovely high temperatures, long hours of sunlight, and time off for hard-earned rest with friends and family. However, it can also be a time of increased household energy use, leading to higher energy bills. To help, here are our top tips to save energy in summer:
Use Your Air Conditioner Less
Air conditioners, while beneficial, consume a great deal of energy. Air conditioning accounts for an estimated 12% of the average home’s energy consumption.
Therefore, the first step to saving energy in summer is to use your air conditioner less. But how do you do that while maintaining a comfortable home temperature?
Keep windows open at night
If the weather forecast calls for a cold night, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows. In the morning, close the windows again to trap cold air inside.
Close your blinds or curtains during the day
Summer sun streaming through windows will heat rooms and cause your air conditioner to work harder to maintain a cold temperature. Closing blinds or curtains reduces the burden by keeping sunlight out.
Only cool the bedroom
If you like to sleep in a cold room and can tolerate a warm house, set up the air conditioner in the bedroom only.
Reduce air leaks
Air leaks let cold air out and warm air in, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. Our Home Energy Solutions team can provide home insulation work and draft proofing to plug such leaks. Additionally, Greensaver is the delivery agent for three programs that offer such services for free to eligible customers:
Save on energy in summer by cooking outdoors with a BBQ. This will reduce your home’s heat and lessen your air conditioner burden. However, avoid charcoal BBQs which are bad for the environment.
If cooking inside, try to cook with the microwave instead of the oven, or prepare non-cook meals, like salads or sandwiches.
Raise your thermostat temperature
Raising the thermostat temperature will reduce the temperature difference between outside and inside, leading to lower cooling bills. The optimum temperature to stay cool while avoiding high bills is 26°C (78°F).
Use a fan
Fans help circulate cold air from an air conditioner, thus cooling a home quicker. For this to work, the fan must be spinning in a counter-clockwise direction in summer. This direction pushes cold air down, creating a breeze.
Ensure your Air Conditioner is Running Efficiently
Another tip to save on energy in summer is to ensure that your air conditioner is running efficiently. This can be achieved in various ways:
Invest in a smart thermostat
If you can afford it, invest in s smart thermostat. These thermostats learn from your cooling patterns to adjust the temperature automatically. You can also modify them from your cellphone if you accidentally leave the air conditioner on full blast when you leave your home. They are so effective at reducing energy waste that they can reduce cooling costs by up to 15%.
Get a tune-up
Sometimes, your air conditioner will run inefficiently due to clogged filters, dirty coils, or ice buildup. Have your unit checked by a licensed Heating, Ventilation and, Air Conditioning (HVAC) technician annually, to ensure optimum performance.
Upgrade the unit
If your air conditioner is 15 years old or older and you notice an increase in noise, higher energy bills, or a decrease in home comfort, it may be time to replace it. Make sure to go for an Energy Star certified model, which guarantees the highest level of energy efficiency available. Modern Energy Star air conditioners use 30-40% less energy than similar models sold 10-15 years ago.
Extra Tips to Save on Energy in Summer
As well as related to your air conditioner, there are several other tips to save energy in summer:
Upgrade to LED bulbs
Standard incandescent bulbs emit heat when used, raising the temperature of a home. On the other hand, LED bulbs emit no heat and consume 75% less energy than incandescents. LED bulbs can be expensive to purchase, so buy them gradually. Alternatively, Greensaver delivers a program that offers LED bulbs for free to those who qualify – the Energy Affordability Program.
Use a smart power strip
When plugged in, electronics are drawing energy and producing heat, even when not in use. Smart power strips detect when an appliance is on standby and shut off the power to it.
The primary energy conservation program Greensaver delivers – the Save on Energy Energy Affordability Program – offers smart power bars free of charge to eligible participants.
Dry your clothes naturally
Dry clothes on a drying rack either inside or outside to save energy on your dryer.
Water plants at colder periods of the day
Reduce water costs by only watering plants at dawn or dusk when the water will not evaporate as quickly.
Conclusion: There Are Many Ways to Save on Energy in Summer
Energy conservation isn’t all about elaborate technology costing thousands of dollars. There are steps that you can personally take to reduce your energy consumption and lower energy costs. By employing some or all of the tips above this summer, you will stay cool, save money, and help protect the environment at the same time.