Homeowners often find themselves in a state of shock when they get their energy bills during the summer months. When the weather starts warming up outside, it makes financial sense to make your home more energy-efficient, and when you conserve energy like this, you also do your fair share towards reducing your carbon footprint.
When you implement the following tips, you can stay cool during the summer without constantly worrying about the cost of your utility bills:
The easiest way to reduce your cooling costs is to seal your home's cracks. Typically speaking, cold air leaves your home through small cracks found between windows, doors, plumbing and electrical fixtures. These small leaks make it hard for your air conditioning unit to regulate the temperature inside of your home. Look for small cracks and holes where air may escape your home, and when you find them, seal them up with some caulk or weather-stripping.
Switch to Advanced Power Strips
Advanced power strips do much more than protect your important appliances from power surges; these "smart" strips come with distinct plug categories that turn your appliances on or off based on what the appliance in the first plug is doing. For example, this means that one of these strips will automatically turn off your DVD player and gaming console when they sense that your TV is off. These strips do all the thinking for you, and they make lowering your energy bill simple.
Use an EnergyStar Air Conditioner
Purchasing and installing an EnergyStar air conditioner saves you a significant amount of money. During the summer, one of the biggest energy drains are air conditioning units. When you buy an efficient unit, you can stay nice and cool without worrying about the bills that you'll have to pay for at the end of the month.
Set Your Fans Correctly
It's important to set your fan's rotation correctly during the summer; ceiling fans turn either clockwise or counterclockwise, and when it's warm out, you want to make sure that your fan rotates counterclockwise. This motion pushes air downwards, and it creates a cool breeze. Your air conditioner doesn't have to use as much energy to keep your home cool, and your home is more comfortable, so you can turn your thermostat up.
Check Your Insulation
It's important to check your attic during the summer; if it's properly insulated, cold air won't flow through your ceiling outside of your home. Go to your attic to make sure that everything is properly insulated. Check your attic hatch as well; lots of cold air is lost when your hatch isn't properly insulated and sealed.
There are lots of things that you can do to make your home more energy efficient. Some are more expensive than others, but in the long-run, they'll all end up saving you a boatload of money. We've given you a couple changes that deliver great results, but if you have budget or time constraints, remember that even the smallest changes will go a long way towards efficiency.