Top Ways to Save on Energy Bills This Summer
The Department of Energy has found that heating and cooling a home accounts for almost half of a residential energy bill. In recent years, all of us have felt the squeeze these hotter summer days have put on our wallets, but what can we do about it? At Home Improvement Leads, we know that there’s plenty you can do to help lighten your energy load, regardless of your budget.
Fans and Ceiling Fans
One of the simplest ways to start saving energy in the summer is by setting up oscillating fans or using ceiling fans to help get your cooled air moving. By doing so, your room will feel up to 4 degrees cooler than your home’s actual temperature. Be sure that your ceiling fan is switched to the summer setting and is turning in a counterclockwise direction when you look up at it so that you get the greatest benefit, and make sure to turn everything off whenever you leave the room.
Service Your HVAC
Americans spend $11 billion a year on cooling their homes, but that amount could be greatly reduced if everyone serviced their HVAC unit regularly. Though you will want to have a certified professional inspect it annually, you can keep up with seasonal checkups yourself and keep your system running efficiently for years to come. In fact, simply replacing clogged, dirty air filters with new ones will save you 5 to 15 percent on your HVAC’s energy consumption!
Install Window and Door Awnings
Unless your windows and doors have been upgraded to Energy Star approved replacements, they allow solar heat to infiltrate your home, which hikes up your home’s internal temperatures You can reduce your home’s solar heat gain by upwards of 77 percent by installing awnings over your home’s windows. Though awnings used to be made with canvas that would wear out in five years, technology has improved greatly. PYC Awnings back their fabrics with a 10 year warranty, saving you hundreds of dollars on your energy bill over the course of their lifespan.
Seal Cracks and Openings
Regardless of your home’s age, it’s likely there are cracks or openings somewhere in your home, allowing for cool air to escape and hot, humid air to seep in. Closing up these gaps can be as simple as adding weather stripping to gaps in your window frames or caulking small fractures in your home’s exterior walls. Don’t forget to thoroughly check your attic for signs of water damage and to inspect the state of your insulation. The more protected your home is from the elements, the lower your energy bill will be.
Though these tips are great for any home, consider hiring a professional to perform a home energy audit if you are looking for a thorough analysis of your home.