During the winter months and colder weather, you know that energy efficient heating elements and wood burning fireplaces help reduce the monthly bills. You can employ similar strategies during the heat of the summer months to decrease your energy usage as well. You can use these ideas especially in the more moderate heat of summer, although it may be tempting to turn on the air conditioner to stay cool. Other appliances like fans help keep you cooler and comfortable as well.
This energy consumption adds up quickly and can increase your monthly bills higher than expected. However, with a few simple changes to your daily habits, you can decrease the energy usage throughout the summer months. Follow these tips to decrease your monthly expenses, go green and work towards reducing your carbon footprint.
Maintain and Service the Air Conditioner
Prior to the busy summer months, have an HVAC professional tune-up and service your air conditioner. Keeping the unit in good shape will increase its efficiency and save money during the hottest months. If the unit is older, it may be time to consider replacing it with a much more efficient, newer system. A new central air conditioner unit with an excellent Energy Star rating can reduce cooling costs by up to 20 percent.
Turn off the Fans When You are Away
This seems paradoxical. You may think that running the ceiling fans and floor fans will limit the energy consumption by keeping a house cooler without running the air conditioner. However, many people leave the fans running even when they are not home. This drives up the electricity bill. Unless you are at home, you will not need the air circulating throughout the house to cool it. Turn the fans off when you leave.
Think Long Term and Plant Trees
With a little planning, planting some shade trees in strategic locations will ultimately keep your home cooler. Having shade trees do the work of keeping the direct sun from heating the house in the afternoon hours can potentially shave up to 40 percent off of the cooling costs from your energy bill. Consult with a local arborist about the best locations to plant trees that may shade your home, without disrupting irrigation or plumbing.
The little lifestyle alterations and changes to daily habits add up to savings on your energy bills. In addition, you can help the environment, go green and shrink your carbon footprint.