Staying cool during the summer doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Keep reading to learn how to stay cool while saving more energy this summer.
7 Tips for a More Energy Efficient Summer
#1. Alter your menu.
Nothing will warm up your home more than turning on the oven or cooking over a stove, which can make your air conditioning work harder to catch up. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a home-cooked meal this summer.
Luckily, there are a lot of ways to prepare delicious, healthy food at home without warming up the kitchen:
- Fire up the grill – Summer is the perfect time of the year to start cooking more on the grill.
- Eat fresh – Not every meal needs to be cooked. When it’s hot out, a fresh salad can really hit the spot. Smoothies full of fresh fruit and vegetables are also a great summertime option, as are cold sandwiches.
- Cook for leftovers – Cook a big meal that you can eat leftovers from for a few days, like chili or spaghetti. Reheating food in the microwave won’t warm up your home like cooking a new meal every night will, and you can cook in bulk in the morning or at night when it’s cool.
#2. Keep the blinds closed.
If you want your home to stay cool during the day while saving as much energy as possible, consider keeping your blinds closed and/or shades drawn during the day. This is especially helpful if you have energy-efficient blinds or shades.
Natural sunlight is nice, but unfortunately, it can warm up your home. By keeping the blinds closed, you’ll keep your home cooler. This will also prevent your carpet, paint, photographs and artwork from fading in the sunlight.
If you’re like me, and you can’t bear to keep the blinds closed while it’s sunny and beautiful out, consider contacting your local window treatment specialist. New window treatments can protect your home from UV rays and increase efficiency.
#3. Get your HVAC system maintained.
When your HVAC system is working properly and running smoothly, it’s also working as efficiently as possible. That’s why keeping your system in great shape with regular HVAC maintenance is an essential part of keeping your energy bills as affordable as possible.
There are, of course, many things you can do on your own to keep your energy system in good shape. This includes replacing your filters on a monthly basis, cleaning dust and debris off of your system, and clearing any leaves building up around outdoor systems.
Having a local HVAC contractor come out to have a look at your system will make it last longer. It will also help you catch minor issues before they can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement.
#4. Wash with cold water.
Did you know that when you run the washing machine, the part that takes up the most energy is actually warming the water up? Even if the cold water cycle takes longer, you’ll end up saving a lot more energy if you wash in cold water than warm, and luckily, cold water works just as well for cleaning clothes.
It all comes down to detergent. Back in the day, when hand-washing was the norm, detergents required hot water to work most efficiently. Hot water also cut down on the time people had to spend scrubbing their clothes. Modern detergents are formulated to work efficiently regardless of water temperature.
Not only does washing your laundry with cold water help you save energy; it’s also better for your clothes in most cases. Warm water is much harder on the fibers in your clothes, and washing in cold water could actually make your clothes last longer.
The benefits of washing with cold water go beyond laundry. Cold water is also better for your skin and hair. If you can handle it, turn down or off the warm water while you shower.
#5. Make sure your home is properly insulated.
Proper insulation plays a big role in how energy efficient your home is. The better your home is insulated, the more effective it will be at keeping the cool air inside your home and the warm air out. This will make your air conditioner’s job easier, saving you more energy.
According to NAIMA (the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association), 90 percent of homes in the United States aren’t properly insulated. That means that most American households are paying more for their energy bills than they could be, and many don’t even realize it.
If you’re not sure whether or not your home could use additional insulation, contact an insulation contractor near you to find out. Proper insulation will not only help you save more energy, but it can also keep your home quieter and more comfortable.
#6. Be strategic with your landscaping.
Many people realize that landscaping is an important part of curb appeal. The right landscape can make your home look like the best on the block. But, did you know that it could help you save more energy?
Shade can be a very powerful thing for keeping your space cool. A few well-placed trees or bushes could provide your home with a lot more shade, while also adding to your home’s curb appeal.
Work with your local landscaping company to develop a landscaping strategy to keep your home cooler while adding to the aesthetics of your home.
#7. Upgrade your thermostat.
Upgrading to a programmable thermostat is an excellent way to save more energy in your home, especially if you learn how to use your thermostat strategically.
Modern thermostats can be programmed to make adjustments automatically based on your schedule. This way, you won’t be paying to keep your air conditioner running when you don’t need it to, for example, when you’re at work or asleep.
They can also be controlled remotely, so you can turn your thermostat down or off when you’re away from home.
Need help making your home as comfortable and efficient as possible? Find the best home contractors and other local businesses near you with Top Rated Local. With our one-of-a-kind local directory, you can read home contractor reviews from across the web and compare local businesses side by side.
Get started today.