Summer is here! Cookouts and s’mores and lots of outdoor time with friends and family. The summer sunshine and boiling heat can take a toll on your monthly budget. The heat can be unrelenting in the summer months, but there are simple things you can do around your home to help. Here are some tips to keep your energy bills lower this summer.
1. Air conditioner: Your cooling and heating system amount to about 50% of the average home energy bill. Get your HVAC system a tune-up each year, it will help keep your electric bill down, as well as keep your AC humming for a long life.
2. Changing filters: Changing out your HVAC systems air filters impact the efficiency with which your air conditioner can run. Keeping clean filters can improve your system’s efficiency by up to 50% which can add up to a few hundred dollars over the year.
3. Programmable thermostat: If your home has an old school thermostat, consider adding a programmable thermostat. It saves you an average of $150 a year, allowing you to program your AC to lower and higher settings corresponding with times you are out of the house or sleeping. A quick and easy install with a big change for the change in your pocket.
4. Sprinklers: Periodically over your summer, check your sprinklers for leaks and orientation. A leaky sprinkler or a sprinkler head knocked out of orientation can cost you gallons of water in one session, impacting your water bill.
5. Window tinting: Energy.gov recommends tinting your house windows that get the afternoon sun, it is a faster and cheaper solution than planting a tree in your front yard.
6. Seal your ducts: Check your air ducts for leaks at the beginning of the summer by turning on your HVAC unit and feeling around the joints for any leaking air. These are usually found in your attic or crawl space. Be sure to use the right type of sealant for any leaks you find – despite the name, duct tape will not work. You need to use a mastic type sealant.
7. Check attic insulation: Over time your attic insulation can be less effective and create a leak of 20% more into your energy bills. Go here to find tips on evaluating your insulation.
8. Energy Star appliances: Over time you will need to replace your appliances. Be sure to do your research and find appliances with the Energy Star certification. They are kinder to both the environment and your energy bill.
What tip or trick keeps your energy bill cooled off in the hottest months of the year?