Some Basic Summertime Energy Saving Tips

Trying to dial down the electricity bill? Try these summertime energy saving tips.

When it comes to summertime energy saving tips, we all know the one about turning your thermostat up to 78 degrees — or higher, if you can bear it. That’s good advice, since every degree above 72 translates into 1-3% savings monthly. That’s a noticeable number of dollars.

But most folks leave it at that. Well, there’s plenty more that you can do, including a few things you may not have thought of. In this article, we’ll introduce you to those options.

The More Obvious Items

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. You may have thought of these, too, but they’re worth bringing up again.

• Replace your air conditioner filters monthly, so the unit doesn’t have to work as
hard.
• Plug any leaks around doors and windows, and install weather-stripping.
• Seal your HVAC ducts.
• Install and use ceiling fans.
• Wash dishes and clothing only when you have full loads.
• Turn off everything you’re not using. In addition to saving electricity directly, it
decreases waste heat that forces the AC to work harder.
• Unplug unused appliances to eliminate phantom loads.
• Buy EnergyStar and other energy-efficient appliances, lamps, etc.
• Install energy-efficient CFL or LED light bulbs.

Pulling the Shades

A simple option that a lot of people miss is simply to keep your drapes and curtains closed during the sunniest and hottest parts of the day. There are two reasons for this.

First of all, sunlight tends to turn into heat as it bounces around a room, which requires the AC to work harder. Second, a closed drape or curtain acts as an extra layer of insulation to keep the coolness inside and the heat out. Simple enough, yes?

Now, About Your Kitchen

It’s surprisingly simple to save electricity in that energy-eating room known as the kitchen. Needless to say, it’s better to wash dishes by hand, if you’re interested in saving energy; though surprisingly, the dishwasher tends to use less water. In either case, be sure to air dry the dishes.

Another way to save some cash is to cook with your microwave rather than your conventional oven. While Martha Stewart tends to turn up her nose at the very idea, it’s hard to find a more efficient cooking option, since a microwave uses about two-thirds less energy per unit of food cooked.

Here’s a good one: the more food you’ve got in your refrigerator, the longer it takes for it to warm up when you open the door. Thus, the fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to stay cool. A full refrigerator… now, there’s a summertime energy saving tip that Yours Truly can really get behind!