Summer’s here, and while we’ve waited all year for these bright, hot sunny days, the first thing we do is crank the air conditioner. Add to this the kids being home all day, using their electronics pushing energy use through the roof, plus spending more time outside, means more loads of laundry. As summers’ temperatures soar, so does your energy bill!
Top 10 summer energy-saving tips
#1. Turn up the heat
For every degree you raise your thermostat above 22ºC, you save 3% off your cooling expenses. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to regulate temperature. Simply set it to 78ºF when you leave and have it automatically start cooling your home before you get back.
#2. Release some fanfare
Ceiling and portable fans are a great way to cool down an entire room and cut cooling costs. Using a fan will allow you to raise your thermostat -15ºC while maintaining the same level of comfort.
#3. Be water-wise
During summer, water usage increases due to watering the lawn and showering more frequently. Keep outdoor watering costs down by watering in the early morning or at dusk, so the water doesn’t evaporate in the summer heat. You can also get free water supply by collecting rain in barrels. Inside, consider installing energy-efficient low-flow water fixtures on showerheads and toilets.
#4. Wash with cold water
Heating water takes 90% of the energy consumed by washing machines. Using cold water to wash and rinse your clothes not only saves you up to $200 annually but prevents your clothes from stretching, shrinking, and fading.
#5. Skip the dryer
There’s nothing better than the scent of freshly dried outdoor sheets and clothing. Avoid raising the temperature of your home and energy use with heat-generating appliances by air drying outside. Choose from a classic clothesline, umbrella-style, easy folding racks, or modern retractable lines.
#6. Shut the blinds
Sunlight coming through your windows will heat up your home, making your air conditioner work overtime. Simply draw the blinds and curtains during the hottest parts of the day to keep your house cooler and give your AC a bit of break.
#7. Turn to LED lighting
Incandescent bulbs turn 90% of the energy they use into heat. Consider replacing them with LED bulbs that use 75% less energy and last 50 times longer than traditional bulbs, saving you money on electricity and replacement costs.
#8. Plant some shade
In addition to beautifying your landscape, planting shade trees and shrubs act as a shield, blocking sunlight from your windows, helping your home keep cool and making your air conditioner’s job easier.
#9. Put up an awning
As an alternative to planting trees, awnings can provide more flexibility for seasonal energy savings. Keep the sun out of south-facing windows in the summers, and then take it down to let the sunshine in and save energy during the winter.
#10. Enjoy al fresco living
Save yourself the sweat of cooking in a hot kitchen by heading outside and striking up the BBQ. Heat-producing kitchen appliances can raise the temperature by 12ºC. Not only will you reduce the energy you would normally use while running those appliances, but you’ll also save on air conditioning costs, all while enjoying burgers on the grill!