Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year. Or, at least the most wonderful time if you enjoy hot weather!
In most of the United States, July and August are the months where people will experience the highest temperatures of the year, we certainly do in Tennessee. While that’s great news for warm-weather lovers, it’s usually not-so-great news for your energy bill.
Rhoades Car owners understand the importance of being energy efficient –one of the reasons our customers love our vehicles is the ability to use them in place of a traditional vehicle for short trips and errands in the neighborhood.
To help battle the heat, here are some tips to help you keep your home comfortable and more efficient. (Note: These tips are best read next to a pool with a large glass of cold water or lemonade!)
1. Turn up the thermostat.
Bump up the temperature in your home to as high as you can tolerate. Depending on the heat outside, you may be surprised at what actually feels comfortable! Pacific Power suggests 78 degrees is good for while you’re home; 85 degrees when you’re not. That will lessen your air conditioner usage and decrease your energy bill. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to help in this process, if you don’t have one already.
In addition, Energy.gov recommends not turning your thermostat exceptionally low to cool the house down quickly. Not only is it ineffective, it creates additional costs.
2. Use fans.
So now that you’re adjusting the temperature on your thermostat, how can you maintain the comfort in your home? By making better use of fans. Fans are much more energy-efficient than air conditioning. In addition, fans are only effective for cooling while you’re in the room. So if you’re not in the room, turn off the fan and take advantage of more savings!
3. Keep your blinds closed during the day.
Yes, sunlight is nice, but summer heat is not. If you’re not going to be home during the day, keep your drapes and blinds closed. This will help prevent a bit of daytime heating and make cooling your home in the evening much more efficient.
4. Become a night washer.
Making your home more energy efficient in the summer months isn’t just about your heating and cooling systems. It’s also about your other appliances as well. By running your washing machine, dryer and dishwasher at night, you’ll minimize the impact that running those appliances has on the cooling of your home.
In addition, consider skipping the drying cycle on the dishwasher and drying dishes by hand or allowing your clothes to air or line dry. And try to minimize the number of loads on each appliance by waiting until you have a full load of laundry or a full dishwasher.
But definitely use the dishwasher – it’s more efficient in water usage than your best efforts at hand-washing those plates and pans!
5. Buy more refrigerated food.
OK, so what does grocery shopping have to do with energy efficiency? Believe it or not, the amount of food in your refrigerator impacts the amount of energy it needs to keep food cold. By having more food in the fridge, you’ll prevent it from warming up as quickly when you open the door to grab that aforementioned glass of lemonade or to prepare a delicious summer meal.
6. Get to know your microwave.
It’s not just the dishwasher in your kitchen. The most obvious sources of heating in your kitchen are the stove and oven. So, when possible, instead of using your oven, opt for the microwave. According to the California Consumer Energy Center, a microwave uses two-thirds less energy than the stove. And it will keep your house cooler, too!
So give these tips a try and watch your energy bill to count the savings! Do you have any unique energy-saving ideas? Tried something that really works? Share it with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear your innovative solutions to beating the heat!