Summer is here ladies and gentlemen. Schools out, vacations are set, and the temperature is rising. If you’re like me, then you are already sweating. I am a very hot blooded individual, so summertime is not my favorite time of year. Now, you may ask why not, everyone loves the summer right? Well, since I don’t get the summer off from work, then why is it so special?
The gas prices are up, temperature is too high, and there are a ton of people traveling. Not only that, but airfare and hotel costs are high. No thanks! Give me spring or fall any time and I will be a happy camper, literally. I will go camping.
Another reason I don’t like the summer is that dreaded energy bill. There is no mystery that one uses more energy in the summer. Your air conditioner doesn’t like you much during this time, but the a/c repair guy does ;).
Related Read – Should you turn off your AC while away to save money?
If you’d like to cut that energy bill during the summer, then here are seven ways to reduce your energy costs this summer. They are simple to follow and I do almost every one of them. Check out below the infographic to see some of my expanded tips based on these suggestions.
And before you ask, it does save you money to turn off your A/C when you are out. You can easily do that with a programmable thermostat.
Open Your Windows
This is such a simple, yet effective tip. Almost every night, my wife and I open our windows to let in the cool air. Add the fan to the mix and you will have a cool nigh breeze swirling around your room. This only works if the night air is cooler than your house. Do not keep the air conditioner running at night if you are doing to do this. That would be a massive waste of energy.
Clean Your Air Filters
Another easy tip that so many forget to do. Cleaning your a/c air filters can not only increase the longevity of your system, but can reduce the load on it. When your filters are filled with dust and dirt, it makes it harder for the system to pull air in to cool it down. When it strains to pull air in, it has to work harder and longer. The harder and longer it works, the more money it will cost you.
We have some weird size filters for our system. They are hard to find in home improvement stores. For this reason, I just buy them from Amazon and get them shipped for free with Amazon Prime.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Are you still running the old thermostat where you have to manually move the temperature up and down? Shame on you! Get a programmable thermostat. I have had one in my old home since we bought it and our new one has a great one. They are the easiest way to save money. If you want to have some cool technology, then check out the Nest. It will learn over time when to run your a/c based on how you come and go. It is pretty cool.
My current house has a Honeywell 7-Day touchscreen programmable thermostat and I love it. It was already in there, but I would buy one if I needed one. It works really well and I like being able to set different schedules for 7 days.
Use the Grill Baby!
I am always down with grilling! I love to grill assorted foods. I loved this tip because when you grill outside, you don’t heat up your house. When you use the oven in the summertime, you can guarantee you will add heat into your home. If you have the ability to grill, then fire it up! By the way, I go with a charcoal grill over a gas. It is just personal preference.
Seal Your Leaks
I never really worried about this at our old house, but then I realized our cool air was rushing under our front door. That is a huge energy waster and it doesn’t help you much. I went and bought some door weather stripping and some caulk, I took care of that problem quickly.
Now with our older home, I know our windows are probably letting our cool air out. I will be doing the same thing and sealing those bad boys up. No need to let our hard earned cold air go to the dogs.
Upgrade Your Energy Wasters
While this is a simple tip, it can be expensive. I wouldn’t recommend this unless your old appliance dies. The cost is just prohibitive for most people, but you need to think about it when you are due for a new appliance. I did just install some energy efficient lights in our kitchen which should help reduce the heat and save us money. Win!
If you haven’t jumped on the energy efficient light bulbs yet, then you need to get on the bandwagon. While they cost more up front, they will reduce your energy bill over time and they reduce heat given off. I use CFLs in every fixture which I have. They work great and keep the heat remittance low.
Kill the Phantom Energy
Did you know most appliances and electronics use energy when they are turned off? It is called “phantom” energy. This allows them to power on quickly when in need. The problem is this costs money when you are not using them. Boo! Most of my electronics are hooked into surge protectors. I just have to flip one switch and the power is cut off.
There is a caveat to this practice. If you have a cable box, then you shouldn’t turn that off. It takes too much energy to start that box back up every time, so you don’t save anything. Just let it keep running. They are costly to just have though.
If you want to know how much power your electronics consume when plugged in, I recommend getting a Kill A Watt electricity usage monitor. I bought one a long time ago and it was eye opening to see how much power my turned off electronics consumed.
Do you have any simple suggestions to reduce energy usage?
Infographic via Visual.ly
I’ve Been Cable Free for 5 Years and Still Watch TV
While in debt, I cut cable and haven’t looked back. It’s easier than you think especially with new services out on the market. One of my favorites is Sling TV, which allows you to watch live TV on the internet. It’s awesome. Check out my Sling TV review.