Summertime is the best time: swimming pools, backyard BBQs, road trips, fireworks … and high energy use. OK, so maybe that last part isn’t the best.
You don’t have to let high energy use wreck your fun. Here are 10 tips to save energy and money this summer.
1. Turn out the lights during the day.
You’ve got access to the best overhead light there is: the sun! For an easy way to save this summer, turn off your home lights during the day.
This works well even when you’re working from home, but is especially beneficial if you’re back in the office and the house is empty. If it’s not too hot, you can also leave the windows open to let in more sunlight.
2. Use heavy drapes.
The sun is an awesome overhead light, but it’s also the galaxy’s most powerful heat lamp.
Hang heavy drapes in front of your windows to keep the sunlight from warming your house and making your A/C work that much harder. Pro tip: Hanging heavy drapes is also a good idea in the winter, because it keeps heat in the house as well.
3. Shut the doors on your second story.
When you run your A/C on your first floor you’re also cooling the second floor—even if nobody is up there! So if nobody’s upstairs, shut all the doors on your second floor. When your A/C has less work to do, it will cool your first floor more quickly and easily. You’ll also save energy and money by not having to cool an entire floor.
4. Turn off your A/C when you don’t need it.
To save the optimum amount of energy and money, it’s best to limit your A/C use to super-hot days. (You know what we’re talking about.)
Remember to adjust the temp at night or when you’re not at home. For every degree you raise the thermostat, you can save between 4-8% on cooling costs.
5. Use a programmable thermostat.
Now that you’re an adult you can totally understand why your dad didn’t want you to touch the thermostat. With a programmable thermostat you won’t have to!
A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts your home’s temperature based on its settings. Plus, when you enroll in the Power Hours program, you can get a $75 instant rebate on any eligible Wi-Fi thermostat!
6. Fans are fantastic.
We’re big fans of fans! Just because you’re limiting your A/C use doesn’t mean you have to sweat it out. Run fans instead!
Fans use a fraction of the energy of an A/C unit, but they circulate cool air throughout the room. Remember: Fans cool people, not rooms, so if you’re not there, don’t forget to turn off the fan.
7. Clean your A/C.
Your air conditioner is a machine. And like any machine, it can get messy, especially during the fall and winter.
A clean A/C is a happy A/C, so it’s important to routinely replace or clean the air filters. Clogged or dirty filters block airflow, meaning your A/C has to work harder to cool your home, costing you a lot of money in the process. You can reduce your A/C’s energy consumption by up to 15% just by replacing a dirty filter with a clean one.
8. Take advantage of natural ventilation.
We talk a lot about how hot Oklahoma summers are, but our state is also known for its cool breezes. So take advantage of nature’s air conditioner. When it’s cooler outside and there’s a nice breeze, turn off your A/C and open a window.
9. Pick a heat pump water heater.
Thinking about taking cold showers? We’ve got a better idea: Switch to a heat pump water heater (HPWH) instead.
While conventional electric-resistance water heaters generate heat directly, a HPWH moves heat from one place to another. Basically, it’s recycling heat throughout your home, saving you money in the process.
In fact, a HPWH is two to three times times more energy efficient than conventional water heaters. Plus, if you get a qualifying ENERGY STAR®-certified HPWH, you can also get a $500 rebate from us.
10. Do what you were doing anyway.
You know all those energy-saving habits you’re already following? They still work during the summer! So unplug your electronics. Switch to an ADVANCED power strip. Load up your washing machine and dishwasher. Check your insulation. Switch to LED light bulbs. Follow these habits (and more) to lower your energy bill during the summer — and all year long!
Try these 10 simple tips so you can worry less about you household’s energy use and more about what really matters: having the best summer ever!