“It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do.” –Walter Winchell
Is the heat getting to you? Staying comfortable through the summer often comes at a price. If your energy bills have your blood pressure rising faster than the mercury in the thermometer, don’t miss these tips on maximizing comfort and minimizing expense this summer.
TIP #1: Switch to CFL or LED Bulbs. Light your home using the same amount of light for less money! An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills AND start cooling your home faster. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save around $45 each year.
TIP #2: Do Things By Hand. Hanging clothes out to dry and doing the dishes by hand will save you money by not running the appliances, but also by not heating up your home with all the heat they produce while in use. So break out the clothespins and rubber gloves and keep cool!
TIP #3: Get Creative with Cooking. The kids may be home from school this year but, that doesn’t mean that they have to have a hot lunch every day! Using the oven or stovetop increases the temperature of the room several degrees and your A/C will have to work overtime to compensate. Sounds like an excuse to eat PBJ’s and smoothies! Now is the perfect time to take your culinary skills outside as well, fire up the grill and leave the heat outside where it belongs.
TIP #4: Unplug! Another quick fix that we often overlook is to turn off our electronics and appliances when they are not in use. As your computer sits idle, it is still sucking up electricity and producing heat. Even your lamps and other small appliances are contributing to your energy usage and the heat in your home even when you aren’t using them.
TIP #5: Change Your Filters. Remember to clean or replace your HVAC filter monthly during summer months. When filters are dirty, the cooling system has to work harder to push air through the ducts, which increases energy costs and increases the risk of malfunction. Taking care of this simple maintenance task could save you loads of money in repair costs and help ensure that your staying cool!