What’s worse, the scorching summer heat or the burn you feel when you open the power bill? This year, don’t let high temperatures get you hot under the collar. A few simple DIY changes around your home will help you beat the heat and save some cool cash.
Take Steps to Lower Your Power Bill
Besides hanging a huge beach umbrella over your house all summer, what can you do to lower energy costs? By taking some of these simple steps, you will not only lower your power bill during the summer but all year long.
10 Steps to Cut Energy Costs During the Summer
- Unplug your devices – Don’t just turn TVs and other appliances off, unplug them. They continue to drain power even when off. Invest in a smart strip which shuts off the electricity directed to each item.
- Use ceiling fans – Fans circulate the air in a room and keep you cool. Set the thermostat at a higher temp and turn the fans on in the room you are occupying.
- Close doors and vents – When rooms are not in use (like your guest rooms), shut them off and close off air vents to reduce the square footage your AC has to cool.
- Add insulation – Sealing air leaks in walls, the attic and around pipes will cut down on energy loss. Blow more insulation into your attic.
- Turn off lights – Don’t leave lights on in rooms you are no longer in.
- Have the A/C inspected – Keep your system running efficiently and have your duct work checked for leaks. Dirty air filters make your unit work harder so change them regularly.
- Install a programmable thermostat – These turn your AC down or off while you aren’t home.
- Dry clothes outside – Take advantage of the summer heat and hang your clothes on a line or rack to dry. Dryers (along with refrigerators) are the biggest drain on your home’s energy.
- Plant some shade – Trees and shrubs can help lower the heat on the outside of your home. Deciduous trees (ones that lose their leaves in fall) can offer shade during the summer but allow light to warm the house in the winter.
- Turn off the oven – Plan meals that don’t involve heating the oven. Try using a toaster oven for warming and browning or a microwave … or grill outside!
Raise the Temperature and Start Saving
If you’re looking for even more cost savings, start setting your thermostat at a higher temperature. For every three degrees you raise it you can save 20% on your power bill. A good rule of thumb is to keep your thermostat set at 75 degrees or higher and use ceiling fans. A programmable thermostat will allow you to keep the A/C set at a higher temperature during the day and a lower one during the evenings when you are home.
Protect Your Home from UV Heat and Damage
Install UV film on windows that get substantial amounts of direct sun. It will reflect the heat back from the glass while allowing the light to come in. It is also good for keeping the sun from damaging expensive wooden doors and entry ways.
Roof Color Can Affect Its Temperature
If you are considering replacing your roof, look into a “cool roof”. The material these roofs are made of help reflect the heat and will keep the attic cooler. Roof color is also important. In warmer climates a lighter roof will help deflect heat while darker ones will hold heat.
Stay Cool with Big Savings
Making a few DIY changes around your home will lower your energy costs and your blood pressure. Stay cool this summer and use the money you saved on your power bill toward your next home project.
Trying to get that power bill under control? Our blog, Find Air Leaks in Your House and Plug ‘Em Up Fast, will help you determine where they are in your home and how to tackle them.
From a ladder and a drill to an insulation vacuum and a blower, our expert staff is always on hand to help you get ready for your next DIY project. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.