SXSW is over and bluebonnets are fading, which can only mean one thing – summer is right around the corner. The mornings are still cool and pleasant but I know we’ve all noticed the definite warming trend the afternoons have brought. We often hear a lot about winterizing our homes and yards, but what about “summer-izing”? Energy demands soar in the summer right in line with the temperatures. There are several ways you can reduce your need and save some money too. Saving money is always cool!
First, set the thermostat as high as you comfortably can. The recommended lower limit is 78 degrees when you’re home, 85 degrees when you’re gone. A programmable thermostat makes these adjustments easy and ensures you don’t have to come home to a hot house in the evenings. Maintaining good air flow and clean air filters allows your A/C unit to work most efficiently.
You can also avoid adding to the heat by minimizing indoor heat sources such as dryers, dishwashers and ovens and by blocking outside light by closing blinds and curtains. Running these appliances at night and using a microwave, grill or toaster oven can make a huge difference in the indoor temperature and how hard your A/C has to work to keep the house cool. Wash clothes in cold water and make sure to clean that lint filter after every use.
Fans are a very economical, low energy way to keep air circulating and make the house seem cooler. Whole house, window or ceiling fans are great for energy savings in the summer!
Savings can also be found in unplugging or eliminating unused or unnecessary appliances, big or small. That extra fridge in the garage uses a ton of energy but you may be surprised at how much electricity is used by small appliances even when they aren’t in use. Toasters, phone chargers, stereos, TVs, DVD players, etc…Put these “electricity vampires” on a power strip that can be turned off and on and you’ll be saving more than you think.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well summer-ized! Stay cool Austin!