Whether you want to save up some money for that summer vacation, add a bit to your savings account, or just cut back on the energy use in your home, there are plenty of ways to do it! Here are some great summer energy saving tips that you can take advantage of starting today.
1. Change Your Thermostat
This first summer energy saving tip can result in big savings. Changing your thermostat can mean a few different things:
Switch to a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can help you set the perfect temperature for all times of day, maybe making it a little warmer when you’re at work and cooling things off right before you get home. You can also monitor the temperatures in different rooms around the house.
Lots of programmable thermostats are compatible with mobile apps. This is perfect when you find out you’ll be home later than expected or get off work early. Simply change the temperature from your phone!
Raise Your Thermostat a Few Degrees
North Texas gets hot, but keep this in mind: For every degree you raise the temperature of your home above 72°, you could save up to 3% in energy expenses. That’s big savings, especially during the summer months!
Use Your Air Conditioner Less When You’re on Vacation
The third thermostat tip is to turn it up when you go on vacation. Unless you have a pet at home that needs to stay comfortable, think of the cold air you’re blasting into every room as money wasted. While you shouldn’t turn it completely off, you can definitely set it at a higher temperature than you normally would.
2. Install Blinds
The summer sun may feel good on your skin in the spring months, but by April most people in North Texas are ready to escape it. Did you know it’s also raising your energy bills by shining through your windows and heating your home up at a faster rate? Make blinds your best friends during these summer months. Drawing them during the day can keep the sun out of your home. At night, feel free to open them back up, but remember to shut them before the morning sun arrives and keep your home cool during the hot days.
3. Use Cold Water More Often
This summer energy saving tip can help you cut down on expenses while also keeping you cool. It’s recommended that you use cold water when you can, instead of always turning to hot water in the shower or to wash your clothes.
Why does hot cost more? Because of the energy it takes to heat the water. About 90% of the energy your washing machine requires actually goes towards heating the water.
Washing with cold instead of hot makes a huge difference! And doesn’t a cool shower at the end of a long day sound relaxing and nice?
Pro Tip: If you can’t stomach the idea of showering in cool water, you might want to consider a tankless water heater. It heats your water instantly, as needed, so it’s not using energy (and money) to keep it hot, like a tank heater.
Also, a couple summer adjustments to your water heater itself can make a big difference:
- Turn the temperature down.
- Put a water heater blanket on it to improve its efficiency and keep the water in the unit hotter for longer. Think of an insulated cup and how it keeps your coffee hot all day.
4. Switch to LED Lighting
The switch to LED lighting is a small change that can result in big savings. With the blinds down, you might need a few more lights during the day, and LED lighting can make up for that difference. They use 75% less energy than traditional choices, such as incandescent lighting, and last longer as well.
5. Upgrade Your Water Heater
There are a few reasons to upgrade your water heater. One is age. Older water heaters can waste a lot of energy. Although you’ll have to pay for the new appliance and installation, the savings on energy from a new, efficient machine can be huge. If your water heater is older than 10 years old, it’s time to consider a replacement. You may want to go with a traditional water heater or a tankless version, depending on your home and family.
6. Complete Regular Home Maintenance
Home maintenance may not be fun, but don’t skip it! There are a few things you should complete regularly to save money on your energy output, including:
- Inspections of your HVAC system and regularly changing the air filter
- Plumbing inspection
- Energy audits
How often you complete these tasks depends on your home. An air filter, for example, may need to be changed every month for a home with pets, but once every three months without pets. It’s generally recommended you have your plumbing inspected once or twice a year. Energy audits can be helpful if you notice a sudden spike in energy or you’re curious about where you’re wasting energy during the summer.
7. Keep Up with HVAC Maintenance
When your HVAC system is well-maintained, it’s more efficient. That means better temperature control, a more comfortable home, and a more affordable one. If your HVAC system is poorly maintained, it has to work harder and uses more energy. You may think you’re saving money by putting off inspections and repairs, but in the long run, the extra energy the system uses will cost more than you saved. The same goes for maintenance. Any money you spend on upkeep will more than pay for itself, as a well-maintained system needs fewer costly repairs.
Keep your HVAC system in good shape with regular maintenance and checks, including:
- Annual professional inspection and maintenance – For older systems, consider twice-annual servicing.
- Replacing air filters once per season – If you have pets, your filters will need to be replaced as often as every month.
- Checking that all the visible parts of the system are free from debris and dust.
- Making sure outdoor units are free from debris such as twigs, leaves, and dirt – There should be at least two feet of clearance around any HVAC components, both indoors and outside.
An HVAC system can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. By keeping up with home and professional maintenance, you can extend the life of your system to keep it working efficiently for longer.
8. Check for Leaks
Leaks in your plumbing can add up quickly, even if it’s just a drip. This summer energy saving tip can be done during your annual plumbing inspection by a professional, but you may also notice the problem before this inspection. Puddles of water in your home can point to a leak. A home inspection can also identify areas that are highly likely to cause future problems.
If you notice any of these problems, it’s important to call a plumber right away. This can save you money on water as well as energy. Regular places to check include:
- Under your sink
- Around your toilet
- Around your water heater
- At your water meter
There are plenty of ways to save money and energy during the summer and year ‘round! Most of these summer energy saving tips are simple to implement, and they’re sure to put a few dollars (or more) into your wallet!
Are you curious about more ways to save money this summer? Your plumbing may be the answer! One of our licensed technicians can come out to do an inspection that could result in more money for a fun vacation this summer. Call C&W Plumbing to schedule an appointment!
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