Summertime is great for relaxation and adventure. High electricity bills can eat up extra cash that could be used for travel or other fun. Since we can’t all go out today and install solar panels and a windmill, here are some great alternatives to help cut down on electricity use and increase the fun this summer!
Eliminate Electronic Heat
A major part of reducing energy use in the summer is trying to eliminate use of an air conditioner. So, eliminating or reducing heat producing elements of your home is essential. Screens and machines put off a lot of heat. Make sure to turn off computers, appliances, lights, and TVs when they are not in use. According to Money Minded Mom, it is best to use LED light bulbs in all light light fixtures because they produce 95% light and only 5% heat. You also don’t have to use as many bulbs because they put out a more direct light.
Lessen the Laundry Load
When you are trying to use less energy, one of the easiest ways is to lessen your laundry. If you run all cycles on cold water, there is no need to separate darks and lights. This allows you to run larger loads, using the machine less. In addition, air-drying clothes instead of using a drying can eliminate quite a bit of heat. Read more ideas about going green from the Retro Housewife here.
Save for Sundown
If you must use the heat-producing elements of your home, wait until after the sun goes down. Green Shield Organic reasons that, “your air conditioner will not have to compensate for the added heat during the day” if wait until nighttime to do things like run the dryer or use the oven.
If possible, put all of your electronics on an automated system. Most air conditioners now are programmable and you can change the temperature with the touch of your phone. The Binder Ladies recommend always keeping your air conditioner running, but to adjust the temperature up and down as necessary. Moving the dial can save a surprising amount of energy.
In addition, use power strips on all electronics and appliances. Then, you can ensure that electricity is cut off with the flip of just one switch instead of unplugging them all.
Frequently Use Fans
According to the San Francisco Gate, a standard residential air-conditioning system costs over $125 more dollars a month than a fan. Even if you are just using a window unit, you can still save close to $50 each month by running a fan instead. For the summer, make sure all of your ceiling fans are set counter-clockwise. If you use floor fans, you can put ice behind them and they will blow cooler air. Check out this and more Survival Life hacks on their list of 17 Ways to Keep Your House Cool and Save Money This Summer.
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Watch the Windows
One of the major ways cool air escapes your home and hot air comes in is through cracks in windows or door seals. If you can, spend the money to install energy efficient windows. If not, the people at Prepper Lists suggest to make sure to properly seal all cracks or leaks. Then, put a tinted film on your windows or splurge on energy efficient curtains to reduce the amount of heat that comes in.
Also, keep your windows closed for as long you can in the morning to keep the cool, night air inside. Then, once it starts to get warm, open windows at each end of your home to create a cross-breeze to cool things down.
Reducing the need for air conditioning is the number one way to save on energy costs in the summer. If you use these tips to help eliminate heat in your home, you should be successful in having an energy-saving season.