At P.J. Fitzpatrick, we know the summer can be unbearably hot (just ask our home improvement specialists who work outside!). We also know that staying cool can rack up your energy bills, so we’ve come up with a great list on how to save energy (and still stay cool) this summer:
1. Cover Up
Take advantage of the heat-blocking window covers you have. Whether they’re shutters, blinds, curtains, or shades, use them to cover you windows and block out the heat from the sun. You’ll keep your home cooler. You can also invest in energy-saving windows.
2. Try Old-Fashioned Drying
When you turn on your clothes dryer, you’re not only using a lot of energy, you’re also making your home hotter. Instead, hang your clothes on a line outside on a sunny day – they’ll dry in no time. If you must use your dryer, however, try to do so at night, and your air conditioner won’t have to work harder to cool the house.
3. Put Fans to Use
If you have ceiling fans, use them! Just the feel of a breeze on your skin makes your body temperature go down, so turn them on whenever you can. If the fans aren’t keeping you cool enough and you need your air conditioning, turn it on – but raise it up a few degrees and use it in conjunction with the fans. You’ll save money on your energy bills.
4. Keep Your Fridge Underground
If you’re a family with a second refrigerator, don’t keep it in your garage. Instead, put it in your basement (if possible). Since temperatures stay cooler underground, your fridge won’t have to work as hard to stay cold, which means it won’t have to use as much energy.
5. Cool Down
Take cooler showers and you’ll not only use less energy, but you’ll feel refreshed and you won’t add extra heat to your home.
6. Swap Your Bulbs
It may seem like a minor tweak, but swapping our your traditional incandescent light bulbs can reduce the amount of heat in your home. Instead, use LED or CFL bulbs, which are cooler to the touch. They also last anywhere from 10x to 50x as long as traditional incandescents – so you’ll save on your energy bills.
7. Check Your Vents
When air conditioning vents are blocked, the room won’t feel as cold, and you’ll most likely have to turn up the air conditioning to be comfortable, which wastes energy. Go around your house and make sure that all of your air conditioning vents aren’t blocked by furniture or appliances and you’ll feel cooler in no time.
8. Limit Dishwasher Use
Like your clothes dryer, your dishwasher uses energy and makes your home warmer. Instead of running it every time you need to dry your dishes, try air drying them in a drying rack. Or, better yet – use fewer dishes. Designate a single cup for drinking water and keep refilling it. Or use plastic silverware when you entertain.
9. Insulate Right
Insulation is one of the many forgotten contributors to your home temperature. Good insulation (and the right amount of it) will not only keep your air conditioning from leaking outside, but will absorb the heat from the sun and keep your home cool.
10. Consider Awnings
Like blinds or curtains, awnings can shade your house from the sun and lower its temperature so you don’t have to use your air conditioner as often. Install awnings over west-facing and south-facing windows and you’ll block out the hot sun rays.