As soon as the cold season is over, most homeowners are left with empty pockets and a lot of bills to pay. Christmas gifts, winter vacations and heating costs can add up to four-figure numbers and put a lot of financial stress on the average household. Fortunately, when summer comes you can start to save money and avoid ending up in the same situation. Summer is actually a great season for saving money and you can use the extra daylight and warm temperatures to your advantage. Here are some energy-saving tips that will make your home more efficient and avoid unnecessary spending later on.
Clean air conditioning filters
Doctors have already warned homeowners that failing to clean air conditioning filters every six months can lead to respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia and allergies, but, if these warnings were not enough to convince you to be more diligent about cleaning, energy experts come with an update: dirty filters also affect the performance of your AC unit, leading to higher energy bills. When the filters aren’t clean, the air inside the unit cannot flow freely, so the AC will have to run for longer to compensate. AC filters are easy to remove and you can use a commercial cleaning solution. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of cleaning them, then replacing them is even better, especially considering that you can find spare filters very easily and at affordable prices.
Let your laundry air dry instead of using the dryer
For most people, adding a spin cycle after the washing cycle is an automation. However, in summer, you don’t have to do this. If you have a house or live in an apartment building where hanging up laundry is allowed, then take advantage of the summer air and fresh breeze to dry your clothes. Air drying is more effective and gentler for the fabric, because it doesn’t shrink or get wrinkly. As an added benefit, using just the washing cycle saves energy and water and you will see a difference within a month. According to research, not using a dryer can save you more than $200/year and reduces the household carbon footprint.
Insulate your house
Summer is the perfect time for large scale home improvement projects and if you haven’t insulated your home so far, this should be the top project on your list. By insulating your house, you seal those small cracks between windows and doors that let heat transfer occur. You might be thinking that you will only enjoy the benefits of insulation in winter, when your house will be warmer, but insulation is actually useful all year round. In summer, it will also keep you cool and you won’t have to depend on air conditioning. You’ll have less mold and condensation, so your home environment won’t become a toxic breeding ground for bacteria.
Check your ventilation
Whether you’re worried that you’re not breathing fresh air or you feel that your home is not energy efficient, improper ventilation could be to blame. In general, home insulation and attic ventilation services go hand in hand, so maybe you can talk to one contractor to fix both issues at the same time. Summer is a great season for this project because buy the time winter comes around you will already have saved money thanks to it. Good ventilation balances the temperature inside the attic and as a result the walls will no longer be colder and you won’t get drafts. Also, heating and cooling costs will be lower.
Cook outside when possible
If you have a garden and a barbecue, don’t use it only for the occasional weekend gettogether. Cooking outdoors more often is great for your health, because you are getting more fresh air and relieving stress. From a financial standpoint, cooking outside saves energy and gas, especially if you have a traditional grill, not an electric one. Needless to say, you won’t have to turn on the cooker hood and all the other kitchen appliances at the same time, which will keep the air cooler and stop the air con from running longer.
Replace your air conditioning with a ceiling fan
A modern home sounds incomplete without an AC unit, but specialists say that we can enjoy the same comfort by using a ceiling fan instead. On the one hand, the ceiling fan reduces room temperature by 10 degrees, which is cool enough not to sweat, but warm enough not to cause thermal shock when you go outside. A fan doesn’t have filters, so bacteria can’t pile up like in the case of air conditioning. On the other hand, ceiling fans require much less energy and, if your home is already well insulated, an AC unit would be redundant anyway.
Use the window blinds
Keeping the blinds open is great if you want a bright room that bathes in light but in summer this will also come at the cost of higher energy bills. First, the hot sun will heat the thermostat, which will make the AC run faster, even if the room isn’t actually that hot. If you don’t want to close the blinds and prefer to let the light in, then place the thermostat on the wall farthest away from the window.