Temperatures are heating up. While we all welcome fun in the sun, sometimes you just need to get inside the air conditioning and chill out. Air-conditioning costs account for 12% of total home energy expenses, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, so taking some simple energy efficiency steps can really pay off.
Follow these energy efficiency tips to stay comfortable and pocket savings for a rainy day:
- Make sure your drapes and shades are pulled down during the day to block the hot sun.
- Minimize the use of heat-generating appliances, such as dishwashers, stoves, washers and dryers during the warmest hours of the day.
- Ceiling fans are economical and cost far less to use than air conditioners. Pro tip: Only use ceiling fans in occupied rooms because they work on the wind-chill effect to cool people. Plus, using a ceiling fan lets you raise the temperature setting on your thermostat by one to three degrees.
- Speaking of thermostats, a Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature settings in your home to save you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% a year on cooling by turning your thermostat up seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day.
- Insulating your attic helps keep the heat outside. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics and floors over crawl spaces and basements.
- Sealing the gaps around your windows and doors will prevent cool air from escaping and help to keep you comfortable in the summer. Use caulking or weatherstripping found at home improvement stores and you could potentially lower your energy use.