12 Ways to Shrink your Energy Bills this Summer

  1. If you have a programmable thermostat, sit down with the manual and learn how to use it. There’s no sense running the air conditioner this summer when you’re at work. There’s also no sense in cooling off the downstairs at night when you’re upstairs asleep. Most people have predictable living patterns that can be programmed into your thermostat to maximize your home’s efficiency.                                                     
  2. Spray expanding foam sealant around your pipes under each sink in your house. We do Home Energy Audits for a living and this is a substantial area of energy loss in most homes we visit.
  3. Apply weather-stripping around each of the exterior doors in the home. This is another obvious one that people know but often don’t get around to doing.
  4. Insulate your water line. The exposed copper tubing in your basement or crawlspace is your water line. Most local home improvement stores will sell inexpensive specially-formed foam insulation that fits snuggly over the pipe which helps reduce your water heating cost.
  5. Pick up a water heater blanket. If you have an older hot water heater and do not want to spend the money to upgrade to a solar system or tankless heater, spend $50 or less on a water heater insulation blanket to maximize your tank’s efficiency..
  6. Change your filters!!! Air filters are very cheap and should be checked often to maximize the efficiency of your air handling system.
  7. Do full loads of laundry. My girlfriend forbids me to wash her clothes (you don’t put bra’s in the dryer?) but it’s just not efficient to run two loads of laundry if you can run just one.
  8. Install ceiling fans in the home. 78 degrees can feel like 72 degrees with a fan blowing on you. That’s a huge reduction in energy use in our hot Georgia summers.
  9. Caulk around each of the windows particularly if you have older windows. Purchasing Energy Star efficiency windows would be a better solution but if your budget dictates that you stick with your older single pane windows, spend a couple hours caulking and it should help reduce leakage significantly.
  10. 10.  Learn How to Use Your Window Shades Properly. This is an interesting one but obvious when you think about it. During the warmer months, leave the window shades on the south facing side of your house closed to keep the sun’s warmth from radiating into your home. During the cooler months, leave the window shades on the south facing side of your house open to let the warm sun light in. At night keep your window shades closed to help keep the warmth from being reabsorbed outside.
  11. Replace your standard incandescent lights with compact fluorescents (CFL’s). You will save $50 over the life of the bulb for each high usage bulb that your replace. High usage means greater than 4hrs usage per day.
  12. Unplug your chargers when not being used or use power strips for your chargers. I had a hard time believing this at first but chargers use some energy even unplugged. If you have lots of electronics like I do, plug all your chargers into one power strip and turn the power strip off when not using them.