It’s summer time and all weather reports say it’s going to be a really hot one….not that it’s easy to believe that given the weather we’ve had recently but the heat must be coming sometime right? When it does, you know that your energy bills can really go up. So what can we do to save money at this time of the year?
Here’s our top 10 tips for saving on energy costs in the summer:
- Keep your fridge well stocked. A full fridge will hold the cold in better than an empty one and as a result, it will run more efficiently. Double check the door seal to make sure that you don’t have any cold air escaping. Put a $5 bill or piece of paper at the edge of the door and close the refrigerator door on it. If you can pull the bill out, the gasket needs to be replaced.
- Use your dishwasher. It generally uses less hot water than hand washing dishes does. Just set it to the air dry option instead of heated dry.
- When doing laundry, wash your clothes in cold water and hang on the clothesline to take advantage of the great outdoors for drying your clothes (as long as you don’t have seasonal allergies!). Only do laundry when you have a full load to wash and use your washer (and dryer if needed) early in the morning or late at night when the hydro rates are cheapest.
- Use compact fluorescent bulbs wherever you can.
- If you have central air conditioning, turn it up by a degree or two and install ceiling fans, set to rotate counter-clockwise. You can save 14-15% on your a/c bill during the summer season this way. Use a programmable thermostat if you can and set the a/c for a higher temperature when you’re going to be away from home. Experts suggest 25 degrees C when at home and 28 when away.
- Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day to help naturally cool your home. You can block up to 65% of the heat entering your home this way.
- Make sure the tracks on your windows and sliding glass doors are clean. If there is anything in the track, it can help cold air escape from your home, wasting energy.
- Plant trees or shrubs in a location where they will provide shade for your air conditioning unit. This can help increase its efficiency by up to 10%.
- Before you turn on your air conditioner for summer, be sure to check the air filters. A dirty filter can decrease your air conditioner’s efficiency by 5-15%. Clean monthly for the rest of the summer.
- Using your BBQ or serving cold food meals will prevent adding heat to your home with the use of the stove, oven, or other such appliances.
What are your tips for reducing energy costs during the summer? Share them in the comments below.