Keep your cool and save money this summer, reducing energy costs with energy efficiency. Whether you are turning on the air conditioner, doing extra loads of laundry, or using your electronics more than during the school year, it all adds up. Here is a list of energy-saving tips to help stay cool and reduce your summer cooling costs:
If your home’s cooling equipment is more than 10–15 years old or needs frequent repairs, it could be time to replace it with a new, more energy-efficient technology. Smart energy upgrades, like air-source heat pumps, could save you money by significantly reducing the energy you use while maintaining the comfort of your home.
Proper air sealing and insulation are the keys to staying cool. When done right, these projects improve year-round comfort and lower cooling costs. Air sealing stops drafts—helping the insulation do its job. It improves home performance and efficiency while reducing air leakage. When you combine air sealing with an insulation upgrade, you will see an even bigger impact. Controlling air flow to and from the outside of your home increases comfort and energy efficiency. Focus on Energy offers $200 cash back for self-installed attic insulation and air sealing improvements. If DIY is not right for you, you may still be eligible for rebates when you work with a Trade Ally contractor to help complete projects with ease.
Poor ventilation, improper air sealing, and inadequate insulation frequently cause moisture issues. However, humidity can be controlled. Place an ENERGY STAR® certified dehumidifier in the main living area and basement to provide energy-efficient moisture control. You could also place a window fan on the shady side of your house to pull cool air in, and a second fan on the opposite side to blow hot air out. If you see any of signs of severe window or wall condensation or water stains, it may be time to have a professional take a closer look.
Fans are your friends. Ceiling fans are great for moving cool air around the room and creating a nice breeze in the summer. If you raise your thermostat by only 2° F and run your ceiling fan counterclockwise, you can lower your air conditioning costs by up to 14%. Setting your ceiling fan to turn counterclockwise also allows air to circulate downward, maintaining a breeze indoors. Remember, ceiling fans cool you, not the room. So be sure to turn them off when you leave the room. Need a new fan? ENERGY STAR®certified ceiling fans with lights are 60% more efficient than standard fans with lights.
Though it might feel good to blast the air conditioner, it also raises utility bills. Save by setting the temperature at 72°–75° F when you are home and a few degrees higher when away. A smart thermostat can make these adjustments automatically by learning your preferences. Replacing your thermostat is another great way to increase the performance and efficiency of your cooling system. Focus on Energy offers rebates on ENERGY STAR®certified smart thermostats that can adapt to your preferences over time for even greater system efficiency.
A close inspection from a trusted source is the first step to determining where your home can save energy. Simply contact one of our participating Trade Ally contractors to assess your home. Get expert advice from a Building Performance Institute trained Trade Ally contractor and maximize your home improvement budget this summer with ENERGY STAR® certified home cooling upgrades. Receive a customized report with energy-saving recommendations tailored to your needs and lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20%. The inspection and recommended upgrades can not only lead to lower energy costs, but also a healthier living environment. Using your report, the contractor can help you prioritize efficiency upgrades before pricing out the work, presenting a contract, and completing improvements. If you prefer, start with the free online virtual assessment, and receive a complimentary home energy report in just a few minutes. You can discover energy-saving opportunities for your home and rebates that can help you make the most of them.