Don't Sweat it: Saving Money in the Summer Heat
Summer is here, and the livin may not be so easy on your wallet, or the environment, if you're not prepared for the heat. But rest assured, there are ways to keep cool, maintain your bank account, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Naturally, when you're not at home, you don't need the A/C on. Trouble is, you also don't want to come home to a hot, stuffy house at the end of a long day. Your answer? Install a programable thermostat, set it for slightly warmer while you are away, and then set it to cool down an hour or so before you return, and you'll be perfectly comfortable. This easy fix can save you nearly $200 a year in energy costs, and the planet will love you for it.
Check Your Air Filters
Have you checked your air filters lately? Dirty air filters can lead to an overworked AC system and costly repairs. The EPA recommends replacing air filters at least once every three months, so be sure to stay ahead of it. Clean air filters can go a long way for summer savings.
Wash it on Cold
Now that the kids are playing more in the great outdoors, chances are you may have more laundry on your hands. Hot water can really suck your energy bill up quickly. The good news is, most modern washing machines do not require hot water to clean clothes properly. Simply making the switch to washing on cold can save you a bundle. Run free, kids!
Ceiling Fans are Your Friends
While a ceiling fan may not lower the temperature in the room, it will cool your guests off by 4 or 5 degrees. This translates into less work for your A/C, and savings for you. Be sure to set your fan spinning in a counter-clockwise direction to create a downward airflow, and turn it off when leaving the room.
It's Okay to Be a Little Shady
Your home can easily overheat on sunny day when the shades or blinds are open, and then you'll be tempted to blast that A/C as soon as you walk in the door. Close those shades, curtains or blinds when you are on your way out in the morning, and Mother Earth (and your wallet) will be thanking you. If you have a balcony, utilizing your awning will also do the trick.
No Need to Be in the Dark
You may not need as much artificial light in the summer months, but you'll still be increasing your home's temperature every time you flip that switch. Make the switch to energy efficient lighting like LEDs, and you'll cut way down on your energy bill. LEDs produce 75% less heat than typical fluorescent lighting, and will still emit the same amount of light as a standard 100 watt incandescent lightbulb.
The heat may be blazing, but you don't need to sweat it out this summer. A few manageable changes to your energy usage, and you'll be doing great things for your bank account, and the planet. Stay cool and have a great summer!