As temperatures rise this summer, you may feel the heat in your electricity bill too. If you want to cut energy consumption to save cash, you can do it without compromising your comfort.
Here are some tips to show you how to do it.
Tricks To Reduce Energy Use This Summer and Beyond
Keep Up With Maintenance
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans are wasting $200 to $400 a year of what they pay for home energy because of things like drafts, air leaks around openings and outdated cooling systems. While most of us can’t afford a complete HVAC overhaul, we can save money by doing low-cost maintenance: Changing air filters monthly, and sealing cooling ducts can reduce energy use by as much as 20%.
Close Things Up
The sun’s blazing rays will heat rooms quickly, so it’s important to close blinds and shades during the day. According to Energy.gov, 76% of sunlight on windows creates heat. Depending on your window covering, you can really see some savings by closing them during the day.
Use More Cold Water
Though some clothes suggest warm or hot water for washing, you can reduce your monthly heating bill by turning all cycles to cold. Even taking cold showers will help lower your energy use and provide a nice relief from the hot weather.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the savings that come with hang drying your clothes. Hang drying also helps your clothes last longer because the dryer breaks down cloth fibers over time. When you do use your dryer, dry one load after the other to reduce warm-up and drying times. Don’t forget to clean lint screens to ensure your drier runs efficiently.
Swap Out Light Bulbs
Turning off lights as you leave a room isn’t the only way to reduce energy use. Simply swapping out incandescent light bulbs for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) cuts energy use throughout your home. LEDs use about 75% less energy than incandescent ones and last 25 times as long, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Plug Into Power Strips
All the gadgets you have plugged in throughout your home — computers, TVs and even mobile chargers —continue to use energy even when they’re turned off. Commonly referred to as “energy vampires,” the best defense against wasted electricity use from these devices is to use a power strip. This is because you can turn the power strip off and completely cut off energy consumption.
Turn Down the Water Heater
Some manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140ºF, but 120ºF is fine for most households. According to Energy.gov, consumers are wasting approximately $400 per household per year with the higher temperature. To cut costs even more, switch your hot water heater to the lowest setting or completely off if you’re going away for a few days.
Get With the Program
Install a programmable thermostat to control temperatures when you’re not at home. Experts estimate that a programmable thermostat saves consumers an average of $180 a year on electricity costs. You can find these tech tools at stores like Lowe’s and The Home Depot starting for as little as $25.
What are your favorite ways to save on energy costs? Let us know in our Clark.com community!