May 26, 2020
6 Energy-Saving Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Summer
Temperatures are on the rise, and summer 2020 is predicted to be hotter than average, according to both the National Weather Service and Old Farmer’s Almanac Guide. Here are 6 energy-saving tips you can take to ensure your home is ready for the heat, without spending a lot of money or energy.
Not to worry if your home doesn’t have a cooling system – you don’t have to be stuck inside a toasty house. With a little planning, you can lower the temperature inside, even if the heat may set records outside. Using room fans or your furnace fan to move air will also help to make you feel cooler.
If your home has a central air conditioning unit or another cooling method, it may not be running as efficiently or cooling your house as well as it could. Taking a few minutes to evaluate your equipment helps avoid issues when you really need that system up and running.
1. Optimize Your Thermostat Settings
By setting your thermostat at the recommended 78 degrees your home will be cool without straining your system or draining your wallet. Turn the temps up when you are away to avoid cooling an empty home. This is easy with a programmable thermostat. With a smart home thermostat, you can verify your efficient settings from your phone while you’re out enjoying summertime fun.
2. Seal Cracks and Insulate
For as long as air conditioning has been around, there have been parents badgering children about how they’re not paying to cool the outdoors. A worse offender is all of the cracks and holes in your home. You can inspect all doors and windows and make sure the caulking around them is in good shape. If not, remove the old caulking and replace it. Also inspect the doors and windows seals to ensure they are not torn, missing, or in bad shape. Have your home insulation checked as well. Many homes are not insulated to the recommended levels. These items can not only keep your home cooler, but it can also help your cooling method work more efficiently.
3. Use Grills More Often
Running the stove and oven during the summer months can defeat even a fierce AC in the kitchen, making your whole system work harder. If you’re able to cook your meals outside with your grill or by using heat-free or heat-limited appliances like a slow cooker, or pressure cooker, you can help keep your indoor environment more pleasant.
4. Run Dishwashers, Dryers and Washing Machines After Dark
Waiting until after dark to run major appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers can reduce heat generated in your home during the day. An additional benefit is that you’ll use the electricity necessary to power these big appliances when our power supply is in less demand.
5. Swap Out Lights to LED or CFL
Add this to all the other reasons you should finally swap out all your incandescent bulbs to LED or CFL ones: Traditional light bulbs give off a lot of heat. While the change may not make a huge difference in degrees in your home by itself, eliminating this inefficiency can contribute to a cooler, more efficient home overall.
6. Ventilate Your Home Naturally
Here in the West, we get a lot of warm days and cool nights. Take advantage of this by opening your windows in the evening and turning off your cooling unit overnight. In the morning, shut your windows and dark or solar-blocking drapes to trap that cooler air inside. It will reduce the amount of time you need to run your cooling units, increase your energy efficiency, and lower your utility bill.
Your electric co-op or utility company may offer additional programs to help you further increase your energy savings.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 member utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states, that together deliver reliable, affordable, and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West.