Normally the summer means you turn up your AC, which can use a lot of energy (and therefore money). But there are a few simple ways that you can save money during the summer months. According to the Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University, these changes can save you anywhere from 20 to 50 percent on your summer energy bills.
Program your system
As the Centre explains, if you have an electric thermostat, programming it is simple and ensures that you are only using the system when you need it. Consider putting the thermostat at 82° before you leave in the morning and at 77° when you get home.
In some cities, the time-of-use rate is used to calculate electricity usage. Finding this information isn’t complicated. All you have to do is go online and find out when your off-peak hours are. The next step is to run your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at these specific times. As a general rule of thumb, electricity rates are often the lowest early in the morning, as well as during the nights and weekends.
Another significant energy waster are drafts in your home. “Find out where air is escaping by performing a simple air-leak test,” the source advises. “Take a piece of tissue and go through your entire house holding the tissue near windows and door frames, electrical outlets, baseboards, and other possible leakage locations. If the tissue moves, consider sealing in these gaps with caulking and weather stripping.” Materials for sealing air leaks are not that expensive and yet can have a measurable impact when it comes to reducing your energy loss by up to 10 percent.
Keep lights out
Here’s a simple way to make your home more energy efficient. By closing your blinds and curtains during the day, you can make your home cooler naturally. Doing this blocks the heat coming from your windows.
Improve your habits
There may be simple changes you can make to cut down on your energy use. To do this, first determine if you can improve upon poor habits. For example, do you allow the water to run while brushing your teeth? Similarly, do you leave the fridge open when deciding what you’re going to eat? While these habits might seem benign, they result in more energy usage than you need. By choosing to practice good habits, for example, taking shorter showers and turning off the lights when you leave the room, you can help significantly cut down on your energy use.
Reduce your phantom load
“Phantom load is the electricity consumed by a device when it is turned off,” the Centre explains. “For example, your television, video game console, cable box, laptop, and cell phone chargers all suck up energy even when they’re not on.” The solution is simple: Be sure to unplug these devices when they’re not in use. “Alternatively, plug them into a power bar and turn off the bar before you go to bed and when you leave for work in the morning,” the source recommends.
Be efficient with washing laundry
As the Centre explains, by improving the way you wash laundry, you not only save money, you also help the environment by conserving “valuable fresh-water resources.” The Centre offers two more tips: Use cold water as much as possible and load your washer to full capacity rather than washing your clothing in separate loads. “Also, set your machine to the shortest wash time, and forgo the extra rinse cycle,” the source adds.
Use a clothes hanger
While dryers use a lot of energy, during the summer, you have the advantage of being able to hang your clothes outside or on a clothes rack inside.
Use energy-efficient bulbs
Light Emitting Diode (LED) or Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs are both energy-efficient and longer lasting, making them valuable investments environmentally and financially.
At SMO Energy we offer free in-home energy consultations with our expert energy consultants, as well as free estimates and great financing options for well-qualified clients. You can reach our Client Care Center at 1-888-222-3720. We are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. We also offer 24/7 emergency service.