5 energy-saving tips
for the summer

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As the weather starts to turn hot, hot, hot, it’s time to think about becoming more energy efficient around your home to help lower summer energy bills.

Why are electricity prices higher in the summer?

Did you know that it takes more energy to keep a space cool for an extended period of time than it does to keep it warm? In the summer months when air conditioners are constantly running, this high demand creates strain on the electricity grid. And during peak hours of electricity use, energy prices can increase. For these reasons, most people experience high electricity bills in the summertime.

Wondering how to save on energy bills in summer? Check out these five energy-saving tips:


Make your AC work smarter

Optimizing air conditioner use is the best place to start when it comes to being energy efficient—and saving money—in summer. Here are some easy ways to get the most from your AC:

  • Make sure your air conditioner is running in tip-top condition. Have it serviced before summer starts. If your unit is old and inefficient, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner.
  • Clean your AC’s air filter and any air vents.
  • Ensure that vents are not blocked by furniture to keep cool air circulating throughout your home.
  • Use large, heat-producing appliances like your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at night to avoid running your AC overtime.
  • Install a smart thermostat and let it learn your habits to make automatic energy-efficient adjustments.
  • Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise to force cool air straight down.


Shield the sun with your blinds

Direct sunlight shining into your home can cause it to heat up quickly. Before you turn your air conditioner on, try closing your curtains and blinds during the day to cool your home.

If you need to keep a room bright but cool, simply tilt the blinds to redirect the light toward the ceiling. Since heat rises, it will stay toward the ceiling while you enjoy the cooler air below.


Maximize your fridge's efficiency

Refrigerators can be major power consumers, but there are several ways to help keep costs down:

  • Keep your refrigerator well-stocked. The fuller a fridge, the less energy it needs to expend to keep cool. The cold items inside the fridge continuously help maintain the cool temperature.
  • Reconsider that second fridge or freezer. You may think it’s convenient or cost-efficient to keep a second one in your basement or garage, but it’s really using additional energy that is probably not necessary.
  • Older refrigerators are much less efficient than newer energy-efficient models. If your current fridge is more than 20 years old, or otherwise on its last legs, consider upgrading to save energy— and money—in the long run.


Insulate your home

Weatherproofing your home will help keep cool air in and heat out in the summer—and vice versa in the winter. Sealing air leaks around windows and doors, adding weather-stripping and checking your home insulation will keep you comfortable in an energy- and cost-efficient way.


Minimize phantom power

When you leave electronics plugged in but don’t use them, they still use electricity. Known as phantom power, phantom load and vampire power, this standby power consumption typically accounts for 5% to 10% of a home’s electricity bill.

You can outsmart these vampires by:

  • Unplugging electronics not used frequently. (For safety reasons, leave larger appliances plugged in.)
  • Using a power strip to easily turn off and unplug multiple electronics at once.
  • Choosing ENERGY STAR®-rated products, which have lower standby power consumption.
  • Knowing which devices consume the most electricity when powered off but still plugged in. For example, video game consoles eat up five times more vampire power than DVD and Blu-Ray players.

By implementing some of these tips for saving energy in summer, as well as year-round energy-saving tips, you can make your home more energy efficient and help reduce your electricity bill.

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