Summer’s here and with that comes all of its byproducts…pool parties, running through the sprinklers…but with that comes one other thing as well: the HEAT!
It’s worse in some places than others, but where I’m from (the Sunshine State, of course!) it can get amazingly hot in the summer time, and it’s been a chore just to find ways to stay cool during the heat.
So in light of this, I decided to compile together a list of six of the best ways to save money on your energy bill this summer. And hey—who knows—this might just save you a few hundred bucks!
I found a lot of this info out through simple hard work, but a lot of these were found by friends and a little “Google Searching” 😉 so hopefully you get as much use out of this list as I did when I was wrestling with my A/C during the “summertime madness.”
Ah yes, the ceiling fan. This thing has been my savior over the last few years. I think the great thing about using your fan is that it’s going to dramatically extend the number of days you can keep your windows open throughout your home, and this will save you a ton. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy,running your A/C and heating unit can account for as much as fifty percent of your utility bill each and every month. Plus, believe it or not, using a ceiling fan will actually help keep your home WARM in the winter months as well!
Switching over to my fan was huge and I understand that sometimes you’re going to have to turn your A/C on, but even reducing your cooling usage by one hour can cause huge ripple effects on your energy bill and slash your bills for good.
This is one that honestly not nearly enough people are doing, and there’s a HUGE reason to switch over to LED (preferred) or CFL bulbs, so I’ll try to summarize the main ones here.
Personally, I’d recommend switching to LED bulbs, which are, in some cases, up to 10 times more effective than traditional incandescents. Here’s why:
- They’re a whole lot cheaper in the long run than regular bulbs and, in some cases, can be as much as 10 times more energy efficient than incandescents.
- They are extremely durable , much more so than traditionals and nowadays you can find them at most home-improvement stores for under $10. You really can’t beat that for a light bulb that will probably outlast you.
- These guys will save you up to a hundred bucks a year (or MORE) depending on your energy usage, so shop accordingly!
3. Do a nightly “energy sweep”
This is a big one that really saved me a lot each month, and just getting into this nightly habit has really helped me realize just how much energy I was wasting each and every night and in some cases while I was even sleeping!
One of the best ways to do this is to either mentally or physically create a checklist with all the main ways you’re spending money every night. For me, I was always leaving fans and lights on throughout the house and even something as simple as forgetting to turn off the living room fan can cost you big.
Did you know it costs around 40 bucks to run a large ceiling fan on high for a whole year? Imagine if you did this kind of math with your whole house? Easy to see how it starts to pile up, isn’t it?
This was another killer and has completely altered my views on home heating and cooling even to this day. I was living in a nice old traditional home in Tennessee and, although I loved it, it really had a lot of cracks and gaps throughout the windows and doors (it was about 50-60 years old, I believe) that were absolutely killing my energy costs every month.
There’s a lot of different ways you can seal your home, but for me I found expandable caulk and sealant to be particularly effective when sealing windows. Investing in something like an “air seal” or “weather stripping” for your doors will pay off in spades in the long run as well.
Now I know what you’re thinking: I understand what you’re saying, but why would I do THAT?!
There are many reasons:
According to the US Department of Energy, most of the energy/heat in your home escapes through the attic, and there’s a wide variety of different insulations and sealants you can get, so there’s really no reason not to! And I know this is probably not how you were expecting to spend your summer weekend (if you’ve got a husband, definitely get him to do this one) but you’re going to really be saving a bundle each and every month that your attic is insulated.
Furthermore, this not only helps a lot during the winter time, but it works surprisingly well in the warmer summer months as well. Because most of the heat in your home is going to rise through the ceilings and out the house, the attic is a great place to nip it in the bud and ensure that you’re home stays sealed.
I decidedly left this last on the list because there’s a little bit of controversy surrounding this, but let me explain.
The idea is simple: painting your roof white as opposed to tar black helps reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, thereby effectively eliminating much of the heat that enters your home in the first place. Seem simple enough?
Well it actually is! And although it’s up in the air whether or not painting your roof white will pay nature a favor, YOU will definitely be eliminating a lot of the heat that enters your home in the summer.
A word to the wise though: if you do end up undertaking this kind of endeavor, do your research first! Google is a great place for this and a quick search will immediately illuminate the specifics of what type of paint to use and how much (and yes, there is a BIG difference).
I’ve never done this one before so I can’t speak from personal experience, but the GacoRoof paint pictured above is the best product out there for this kind of project, so definitely go with something like that.
This is kind of the “allout” approach for slashing energy costs and although it may seem a little far fetched many people have had great results using this stuff…your call!
At the end of the day…
To recap, there are a LOT of ways we’re wasting money every month with our cooling and heating costs, and there’s no reason to just let that money go down the drain. Hopefully this list opened your eyes to at least a few different ways you can save money on your energy bills each month!
Special thanks to HomeTradie for submitting this article! HomeTradie specializes in Home Improvement advice and has several region specific blogs based in the Central Florida Area.
Featured image courtesy of Consumer Reports.