News & FAQ

Energy-Saving Tips for the Summer

6/23/2016

Valerie Johannsen People & Brand Manager

Utility bills seem to skyrocket in the summer when the heat gets intense and homeowners find themselves hiding inside with the A/C blasting 24 hours a day. Lawns and gardens need constant watering in areas that get little rain during the season – and outside excursions often warrant extra baths and showers.

How do you keep from breaking the bank every summer, which only seems to get warmer and muggier? Energy experts recommend a whole-house approach to keeping consumption low. This means, according to energy.com, “viewing your home as an energy system with independent parts.”

Energy-Saving Tips

We’ve collected tips from professional technicians and the energy experts at energy.gov for a compilation of the easiest – and most inexpensive ideas. Give yourself a weekend to work on these energy-saving solutions and start enjoying lower bills before the peak of the summer season.

  • Seal Leaks – A great deal of energy is lost throughout the year on leaks and poor insulation. Go through your home and check for leaks around windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical outlets. A tube of caulk can be your best friend when securing areas that leak air. If you have an attic, you might also look into adding more insulation. Proper insulation can reduce the cost of cooling (and heating) by over 40 percent.
  • Keep It Dark – By keeping the shades and curtains drawn during the heat of the day, you reduce your solar heat gain. Installing shutters, adding awnings or applying reflective window film will help reduce the amount of heat you’re A/C is burdened with displacing.
  • Short Showers – Take short showers instead of baths. According to energy.gov, the average shower uses approximately 10 gallons of hot water. By taking just a couple of minutes off of your shower routine, you can save as much as 1,700 gallons of water a year. Installing a low-flow showerhead will help you conserve even more water. Reduce Hot Water Use for Energy Savings
  • Install a Programmable Thermostat – Programmable thermostats can help you save substantially on your cooling and heating bills. Programming your home to different comfort levels throughout the day will ensure you’re A/C works more efficiently. It can raise the temperature when no one’s home – and make sure the house is cool when it needs to be. According to energy.gov, you can also save as much as 10% a year on cooling and heating by turning your thermostat back 7 – 10 degrees for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.
  • Fight the Energy Vampires – The appliances and electronics in your home that are always plugged in might be costing you a considerable amount in utilities. Electronics like television sets and chargers are constantly using electricity whether they are in use or not. A good way to keep these energy vampires from sucking up all that unnecessary electricity is to attach them to power strips. When the equipment is not in use, simply turn off the strip – which stops the flow immediately.
  • Use Fans – A ceiling fan won’t cool a room, but it can work with the air conditioner to maximize the cooled air. Using a ceiling fan will allow you to raise your thermostat about 4 degrees without compromising comfort. Make sure to turn off the ceiling fan when the room is unoccupied.
  • Use Appliances Sparingly – During the summer, try to use appliances that produce a large quantity of heat sparingly. Clothes dryers, ovens, dishwashers, and gas-powered stove tops all create a substantial amount of heat and can raise the temperature in your home by a few degrees. Try to line-dry your clothes in the summer, hand dry dishes and grill outside when possible.
  • Change Out Lights – Take stock of all the lights in your home and try replacing incandescents with modern bulbs that run cooler and are more efficient. There several bulbs on the market that typically use 25% – 80% less energy traditional incandescent bulbs. Visit your local hardware store where you’ll find a larger selection of options including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

Heating and Cooling Des Moines Since 1997

One of the best ways to save energy over the summer is to keep your air conditioning or HVAC system running efficiently. Keep your system running at optimum efficiency and head off expensive repair work before you need it.

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