10 Energy Saving Tips to Save You Money This Summer



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It's that time of the year again! Summer temperatures will be soaring soon, and most people have already turned on their air conditioners. As those soaring energy bills start hitting mailboxes, people will be looking for ways to reduce costs while remaining comfortable in their homes.

I recently contacted the local utilities to get even more information to help you save energy this summer. One shocking fact that they told me was that when you look at your energy bill, a full 37% of the cost is going to moisture removal.

Here are some helpful tips to lower costs:

1. Keep blinds or shades closed. When open, the sun can really heat up a room. Rooms get hotter without shades or curtains to block the sunlight, especially with south- and west-facing windows. Put this idea to work more effectively with insulated window treatments. Turn off the lights. They add heat, just like sunlight does.

2. Avoid chores. (This is getting better and better isn’t it!) The hotter the space, the harder an air conditioner must work to keep things cool. Limit the use of heat-generating appliances such as the oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer during the daytime hours when temperatures are hottest. The clothes dryer uses up a lot of energy and produces heat. Try using a clothes line instead.

3. Look around and see where you think cool air might escape. Any door that can be closed should be closed. That leaves less of the major living space to cool down.

4. Do your workouts outdoors. The less movement you do inside, the less heat you produce.  Keep exercising, just do it in a local gym or outside!

5. Program the thermostat. Give the air conditioner a break during the work day. Shifting the settings to allow higher daytime temperatures could cut the average household s electric bill by $180 a year, according to Energy Star.

6. Keep it clean. Dirt and dust hinder air flow, reducing efficiency. A good rule of thumb is to check and maybe vacuum your air filters monthly for central air and individual window or wall units, change your air filter every 3 months.

7. Leave the house.  During your summer vacation and longer outings make sure everything is off and unplugged. (well not the refrigerator, but anything you will not be using while away.) Gadgets like a cellphone charger or microwave suck energy -- and generate heat -- as long as they're attached to a power source. Standby power for appliances not in use typically accounts for 5% to 10% of residential electricity use, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
OR If the temperatures are at extreme highs then consider keeping your temperature set to a higher temp that you would if you were home, such as 80.  This does mean, you’ve sent your pets away as well.

8. Arrange an HVAC inspection. Call a certified technician for an annual check that your homes heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system is operating at peak efficiency. Leaking ducts, for example, could reduce energy efficiency by up to 20%.

9. Whole house fan (attic fan). This is old fashion but really works in the evening and morning when it is cooler outside than inside.

10. Seal up the house.  Cooled air can leak through cracks along window and door frames. Invest in some caulk and weather-stripping to plug up these drafts. A home that is properly insulated and sealed improves energy efficiency by up to 20% year-round, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. Finally, find an insulation contractor that does injection wall foam. Do your research to find the best product to have your walls filled with.

Huntsville Utilities shared their biggest concerns they see arise with Summer utility bills

SUMMER ENERGY USAGE:

Humidity levels are much higher during the summer months and many homeowners do not realize the affects that moisture has on their energy costs and their comfort.

Consider the following:

In the hottest summer months, air conditioning costs will account for about 60% of a typical energy bill and about 37% of the energy bill can be attributed to moisture removal. Additionally, high humidity equals a high level of discomfort. Residents who feel the need to keep the thermostat set at 72 in a humid home, may be able to move the dial to 78 in a dryer home with the same comfort level. A two degree difference in the thermostat setting is likely to affect air conditioning costs by 5%. The difference therefore, between a thermostat setting of  72 and 78 during a hot summer month may reduce cooling cost by 15%.

TIPS TO HELP CONTROL SUMMER TIME HUMIDITY:
- Install gutter extensions to keep rain water away from the base of the house
- Make sure flower beds and or rock/gravel gardens do not touch the walls of the home. Flower beds and gravel create a sponge of sorts that draw rain water and hose water into the walls of the house.  
- Plants located inside the home can create a great deal of moisture. This is not a problem during the winter months but if possible, plants should be moved outside in the summer
- Bath, laundry, and kitchen exhaust fans should be used and ducted outside the structure of the home. Some exhaust fans are vented into the attic or crawl space
- Homes built on a crawl space should employ a plastic ground cover that is over lapped and turned 18” up the foundation wall. This type of ground cover will prevent moisture infiltration from the water table into the floor and then into the house
- Make sure the openings around windows, doors, plumbing, and wiring are sealed. Summer time air is often laden with high levels of moisture.
- Rain water should flow away from the house as opposed to collecting within the crawl space or puddling near an outside wall. Concrete will absorb moisture and wick it up the walls and into the home if not checked.

HOW DO I GET MY OWN ENERGY SAVING SURVEY:

The do-it-yourself, survey should be requested by e-mailing: energy@hsvutil.org  
This will get the paper version sent. NOTE: The paper version makes calculations based on the actual bill  

As always, I am here to help on any of your real estate needs! Give me a call or drop me an email today.

2 comments:

  1. These type of helpful tips will help you in saving your budget and also your energy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Following such useful will not only help to reduce your energy bills but also to save our valuable resources.

    ReplyDelete