Temperatures are rising which means your utility bills likely are on the rise too. With the average American spending about $200 per month on energy, most are looking for ways to decrease those costs any way they can. Not using air conditioning is an unrealistic option, so there are other updates and changes you can make to save money and still stay cool this summer.
Find an energy-efficient home
If you are on the hunt for a new home this summer, think ahead and make energy efficiency a priority in your home search. Keep square footage to the minimum you think you will need – the more unnecessary space, the more space you’ll be cooling (or heating this winter). Certain home features, such as sun rooms and high ceilings, contribute to unnecessary space or areas that heat quicker than normal.
Check your appliances
While newer appliances are easily labeled with their estimated yearly cost by Energy Guide, older appliances aren’t as easy to determine. Using the Department of Energy’s online appliance energy calculator, you can decide if investing in newer appliances with a lower operating cost could save you money in the long run. You also can have an HVAC professional check your equipment to ensure it is the appropriate size for your home. Having a system that is too large or too small can create unnecessary costs.
Replacing appliances and equipment can be a large up-front cost, so if you’re looking to start saving now, even small amounts, quick fixes are your best choice. Some options include using cold water for laundry, changing the direction of your ceiling fan, and using energy-efficient light bulbs. Check your doors for sealing issues and replace weather stripping, if necessary, to prevent drafts.
Find an expert
For more guidance on how to save energy, contact your local utility company. Many provide free energy audits and can offer professional advice on ways to lower your energy use and save you money.