Want to reduce your energy consumption this summer? Here are some tips:
Take Advantage of the Cool Mornings
You can take advantage of cool mornings to open your windows and let in the fresh air. If you’re lucky enough to have ceiling fans, now is the perfect time to use them. You can also run your dishwasher and washing machine since they won’t be competing with the heat for energy.
Once the sun goes down, though, close those windows and draw your blinds, the temperatures will drop drastically at night, but if your home absorbs all that heat during the day, you’ll be trying to get rid of it for hours after dark.
Keep Your Thermostat at 78 Degrees or Higher
Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. The Department of Energy says that 78 degrees is the most energy-efficient setting for your summer air conditioning, and they know what they’re talking about. Setting your thermostat at 78 or above will keep you feeling cool and comfortable while also keeping your energy usage down. Don’t turn it down lower than 78 just because you want to be extra cool when you’re home—your body will adjust to the temperature, and that adjustment can save energy! Also, don’t turn it down at night because you think it will save money—the Department of Energy says that doing so makes very little difference in how much energy your air conditioner uses, but it could make a huge difference in how well you sleep.
Summer is the best season to grill, not only will you save on heating your house by using your stove, but it’s a greener way to cook. Grilling also allows for cooking more vegetables and meat, which can be healthier than baking or frying. The grill is also perfect for hosting parties or family gatherings and creates a fun, social atmosphere. If you don’t have outdoor space, some apartment buildings have communal grills or you can even go old-fashioned and build a fire pit in your backyard.
Pull the Plug
Unplug unused appliances. We all have a tendency to plug in electronics and just leave them there. Even when they are not being used, your electronic devices may be drawing power from the socket. An easy way to combat this is to unplug as many devices as you can when you’re done using them or at least turn them off at the wall. If you’ve got multiple appliances plugged into one area, try using a power strip and turning it off when not in use – this will stop energy loss from what’s called “phantom loads”. Unplugging or turning off the power strip may reduce energy loss by up to 80%.
Plug into ENERGY STAR®. If it’s time for an appliance upgrade, consider purchasing an ENERGY STAR® certified appliance instead of a regular version–it’ll help keep your home cool while saving you lots of money!
Some More Tips to Reduce Your Energy Consumption This Summer
Turning lights off when you leave the room is a simple way to conserve electricity and lower your power bill. It reduces your home’s carbon footprint by using less energy. Don’t leave the refrigerator door open while you’re staring inside, deciding what to eat next. This is a great way to waste energy quickly as cool air (and money!) escapes every minute the door stays open.
Do not keep the TV on in the background if you’re not watching it! A better option might be putting on some music instead of running the TV for background noise. Keeping unused electronics turned off is another easy way to save money and energy with very little effort required. While appliances like TVs use much less power than they did in previous years, they still use energy even when turned off!
Try taking shorter showers. Showers are responsible for about 17% of residential indoor water use, so making modest changes can go a long way towards reducing your water consumption—plus it will help lower your utility bills!
Minimize unnecessary heat gain caused by sunlight coming in through windows by keeping shades drawn or closed during hot weather days or installing blinds or curtains on large windows that receive direct sunlight during parts of the day.