10 ways to save electricity on hot days
When the weather gets warmer, our instincts tell us to crank up the air conditioning. Unfortunately, this action can lead to spikes in your electrical bill.
Efficiently cool your home this spring and summer with these tips:
1. Use windows and fans for natural ventilation.
If you live in an area where the temperature drops at night, turn off your cooling system and open the windows while you sleep. Using ceiling fans to circulate the air allows you to turn your thermostat up a few degrees without feeling a difference. Make sure your fans run counterclockwise to push the air down, cooling the space more effectively. Remember to turn fans off when you leave the room.
2. Cover your windows.
Window treatments will help block heat from direct sunlight. Keep curtains closed when the sun shines through the windows. For maximum heat control, invest in solar shades. These can be found at your local hardware store.
3. Set thermostat for maximum energy savings.
The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you're home. Raise it a few degrees when you leave. If you don't already have one, install a programmable or smart thermostat that can make these setting changes automatically. Not only can controlling the temperature help to lower your electricity bills, it can also extend the life of your cooling system by reducing intense wear and tear.
4. Avoid running appliances during the day.
If possible, try to use heat-emitting appliances after the sun goes down. That means dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, ovens and microwaves. Plus, run only full loads of dishes and laundry to efficiently use these appliances.
5. Unplug when you're done.
Many electronics will continue to drain power even when they're not in use. Unplug chargers, computers, hair dryers, curling irons, speakers, small appliances and power strips when you don't need them. Along with unplugging, follow these tips for proper electrical maintenance to keep your electronics running efficiently.
6. Take advantage of daylight.
Artificial lighting can quickly generate heat inside your home. So, if you can see without the lights on, keep them off! If you're covering your windows to avoid heat from the direct sunlight, try to use a small lamp rather than bright overhead lighting.
7. Turn down the water heater.
When the outside temperature is freezing, you crave a hot shower. Alternatively, when the weather gets warmer, taking cooler showers is a good way to keep cool. The Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the warmer months to save energy and avoid scalding your skin.
8. Seal the cool air inside.
Keep the cool air inside by sealing cracks or openings in windows, doors and vents with caulking or weather strips. This will also prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
9. Focus on the areas you use frequently.
If you're not using rooms, such as guest bedrooms or bathrooms, close the vents in those areas and shut the doors. This directs the cool air to the rooms you are using.
10. Maintain the efficiency of your cooling unit.
Don't forget: these energy-saving tips pair well with regular heating ventilation and air conditioning maintenance. Make sure you replace filters every few months and schedule a system checkup before the heat of summer starts to settle in. That way, you can repair any issues before you're in dire need of help from your cooling unit.
Along with saving electricity, you can conserve energy during the warmer months by washing your clothes in cold water and drying them outside or installing proper insulation.
While following these energy saving tips can help lower your electricity bills and increase the efficiency of your cooling system, it's still a good idea to prepare for unexpected problems. Being prepared with a plan from HomeServe can help cover costs of covered repairs.