Realty Executives International
Energy-Saving Upgrades for Summer
When temperatures rise this summer, trying to keep your energy bills low can feel like a challenging task. From smaller, practical upgrades to utilizing technology to help you use less energy, there are countless ways you can keep your home cool and save money this summer.
If you’re considering upgrading your home this summer, consider these energy-saving options. Even minor upgrades can add up to a big difference!
1. Run a routine check on your air conditioner
If your air conditioner is more than a few years old, it is important to run routine maintenance to ensure it runs smoothly and efficiently. Before summer, have an HVAC technician run a regular maintenance check and ensure your system is in proper order. They will ensure all coils, coolants, and engines are running as they should, and raise any flags about potential maintenance issues in the future.
If your air conditioner is over 15 years old, it might be time to invest in a newer, energy-efficient model that will use less electricity. There have been extensive improvements made to heating and cooling units over the last two decades, making them more efficient while using less energy.
2. Replace your air filters
The air filters in your house help keep your air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently month after month. By replacing your home’s air filters every few months, you can ensure the airflow is smoothly getting to the air conditioner unit. If your A/C is heavily used or you have shedding pets or dust in your home, consider replacing it more frequently to ensure nothing is clogged.
3. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat
Aside from the automation and convenience of a programmable or smart thermostat, it’s a simple way to save money. By upgrading your traditional thermostats, you can set a customizable schedule that reflects your routine and use of your home. This is especially helpful for the next long summer vacation you take. Set your thermostat when you head out and program it to kick back on when you’re coming back, saving you energy and money while you’re out of town. You will find the ability to control your home’s temperature from afar will preserve your energy cost, keep your home comfortable, and save you money in the process.
4. Install ceiling fans
Installing or utilizing ceiling fans is one way to keep your home cool and circulated this summer. The airflow created by the ceiling fans can help keep the cool air moving and minimize the amount of work your air conditioner unit needs to put out to cool the house. Make sure your ceiling blades are spinning counterclockwise, which will push cool air down and increase circulation. When fall and winter come, switch the direction of the blades to push the warmer air down.
5. Add blackout blinds to your sun-drenched southern rooms
Believe it or not, something as simple as adding dark curtains or blackout blinds can help keep your house cool, saving you money on your electric bill. While you don’t have to worry about north-facing windows, homes with a southern exposure can get increasingly warm in the summer thanks to the sun’s direct rays. Keeping blinds or curtains closed when you’re not in the room can keep your house cool and protected from direct rays.
6. Swap lights for energy-efficient bulbs
A low-cost and easy way to save money on your energy bills is by swapping older incandescent lights for energy-efficient LED models. Older incandescent light bulbs only convert 10 to 15 percent of the electricity they consume into light. The rest is emitted as heat, which wastes energy and keeps your house warmer than necessary. You can also purchase programmable light bulbs, ensuring your lights don’t stay on when you’re not home. These smart light bulbs have become more cost-efficient and easier to use, making them a no-brainer for easy energy savings.
7. Check your insulation
Your home’s insulation isn’t just for keeping you warm in the winter. It also keeps the cool air in your home while preventing hot air from entering. One way to invest in your home’s energy efficiency is to ensure appropriate insulation. Consider adding more insulation if you have an attic that is not insulated or has a lower-than-recommended R-value.
8. Replace old windows
One of the highest returns on investment upgrades you can make to your home is replacing old, drafty windows with a new energy-efficient option. Installing vinyl windows is expected to recoup about 68% of their value and will also save you regularly on your energy bills. While this can be a larger investment, you will notice an immediate difference in your home’s energy usage.
Before summer arrives, consider making a few upgrades in the name of energy efficiency. Even minor upgrades can help keep you cool and save some money during the warmer months!