Summer brings longer daylight hours and sunnier days. The brighter and fairer weather make for a great opportunity to minimize energy use on lighting and heating. That means fighting the temptation to crank up the air conditioning and fridge.
Conserve some energy and save money on your utility bills by using these tips.
See the Light
While conventional incandescent bulbs are cheaper, they require more energy to use and have a shorter life span. In addition, they transform less than 10 percent of the energy they use into visible light, with the remaining 90 percent turning into heat. They’re most likely the type of lighting you use in your home, especially if your place is older.
Switch these out for Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), which can fit in most lighting fixtures. Both use less energy and burn cooler than incandescents. LEDs are the most efficient of these lighting options and last longer, but also cost the most money.
Cool Down with Fans
Nix the energy-guzzling air conditioning in favor of fans, which are cheaper to buy and operate. Look for DC motor ceiling fans, which are lighter and smaller, allowing them to fit in more compact spaces. These devices use a process that keeps the motor cool, increasing the fan’s life and minimizing noise. Overall, you use up to 70 percent less energy and can enjoy quieter nights with this kind of ceiling fan.
Rely on Windows
Open your windows at night to allow the cooler air to naturally ventilate your home and circulate through your spaces. Opening windows on opposite sides of a room allows the best airflow while you sleep. When you wake up, shut the curtains and windows so the cooler air remains in your rooms and the warmer daylight air stays outside. Install window coverings that prevent heat from building up through your windows.
Keep Up with Maintenance
Before you use your air conditioner for the year, have it inspected to ensure that it is in good working order. Poorly maintained cooling systems use up more energy and do not cool your spaces efficiently. Vacuum your registers regularly to eliminate dust buildup and make sure that no furniture blocks their airflow. Do not put lamps, TV sets or other appliances that generate heat next to your thermostat, which may detect heat from them and make the air conditioner longer than needed.
Seal the Deal
Prevent cool air from leaking out of your home and hot air from seeping in by sealing any cracks or openings. If you have any leaky windows or doors, add weatherstripping or caulking around their edges. Consider adding insulation to older homes, many of which do not have any insulation at all. While the cost may be high initially, you’ll save money in the long run by having to use heating and cooling appliances less.
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