It’s summertime and everyone wants the living to be easy! The dog days of August means lots of family vacations. But, August also means plenty of hot and humid days. For homeowners looking to balance family fun with responsible spending, vacation time can be difficult to manage your summer energy bills.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and steps to take prior to going on vacation that will help reduce your summer energy costs.
Simple Steps To Reduce Summer Energy Costs
First and foremost, the best way to reduce your summer energy costs remains conserving energy. After all, starting with a lower amount of energy usage ensures a lower electric bill at the end of the month.
The home comfort experts at GreenHomes America share some simple steps that help reduce your energy costs today.
- Turn off lights when they are not in use.
- Turn off devices (i.e., televisions, computers, ceiling fans, etc.) when not in use.
- Replace standard and CFL light bulbs with LED lighting.
- Install and use ENERGY Star labeled appliances (such as refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, dehumidifiers and air purifiers).
- Stop using old refrigerators and/or freezers.
- Upgrade to high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.
- Insulate and air seal your home.
Managing Your HVAC System Reduces Summer Energy Bills
Similarly, routine seasonal maintenance helps ensure your HVAC system runs efficiently throughout the summer (and entire year).
For example, frequently during the summer, we come home to a hot and uncomfortable house. As a result, we crank the A/C. However, this practice ensures your cooling costs will add up at the end of the month. Therefore, maintain a reasonable setting throughout the day.
Additionally, install a programmable thermostat. For families with a fairly routine schedule, simply set the thermostat according to your schedule. The thermostat triggers the A/C shortly before someone plans to arrive and cools the house. As a result, no more blasting cold air to make your home comfortable.
Along those lines, many new homes include energy efficient A/Cs or HVAC systems. However, simply because the A/C is energy efficient, it still requires maintenance due to normal useage in order to reduce your energy bill.
“Find a qualified HVAC technician to inspect your AC system to ensure it is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible before sizzling summer temperatures arrive. Also, have the tech provide a small training so you know how to clean air filters because this is essential to keeping the AC unit running smoothly during the summer.”
Finally, as part of routine HVAC management, check your insulation, which saves up to 20% on energy bills. Why does insulation make a difference?
Air seep through cracks in the attic and walls. Prevent warm air from leaking into your home by properly insulating the attic, along with sealing air ducts. Typically, cooling these areas accounts for about 30% of a cooling system’s energy consumption.
Reduce Your Summer Energy Expenses During Vacation
Finally, the family vacation has arrived. After completing all of the routine maintenance and a few summer projects, nobody wants to pay for wasted energy. Therefore, take a few extra steps during your next trip or vacation and lower your next energy bill.
- Unplug certain electronics that will not be used. Things such as TVs are energy sucking devices called vampire devices.
“Walk around your house and note anything with a clock or light that is on, even though the device is off. To reduce your energy bill, then unplug these devices while you are on vacation.”
- Set appliances to vacation mode. Certain appliances, such as hot water heaters contain a vacation setting mode. Simply check your major appliances and set to vacation mode to reduce their passive energy consumption.
- Raise the temperature. Although summer is pretty hot, if you are going to be away for an extended time, then raise the temperature in your home. However, if you maintain plants or have pets still in the house, ensure the temperature remains comfortable for their safety. This step is another reason why programmable thermostats are worth the investment.
- Turn off the water. Not necessarily related to energy consumption, remember to turn off the main water valve. As a result, you’ll have peace of mind that you won’t come home to a flood.
At SolvIt, we simply want to help homeowners enjoy their homes. During the summer, we like to get away as well. The warm weather makes it easy to find a peaceful spot to catch up on some R&R. So we know that our customers also enjoy summer vacation.
If you have any questions about reducing your summer energy bills or general cooling issues, then don’t hesitate to call – we are here 24/7 to help!