5 Ways to Make Your Home Energy Efficient in the Summer

As temperatures climb, it’s more important than ever that your home remains energy efficient.
1. Windows and Doors
Not only will energy efficiency help keep your home cooler this summer, it will also reduce your energy costs. Here are five basics for making your home energy efficient.

Check the seals on your doors and windows and re-caulk any gaps or cracks. These open spaces allow cool air to escape and let warm air into your house. This means your air conditioning system has to work harder to keep your home cool.

Consider replacing older windows with more energy friendly options. Many window installation companies, such as Rusco Industries, offer several brands of energy efficient windows. Replacing your old windows with their energy efficient counterparts can save you up to 15% on your cooling costs this summer (California Natural Resources Agency).
2. Solar Panels
Consider having solar panels installed on your roof. This won’t do much for the internal temperature of your home and, in most cases the power your panels generate won’t go directly to your home. But most solar energy companies have deals which decrease the amount you pay for electricity by the amount of clean energy generated through your set of solar panels. Not a bad deal, right?
3. Air Conditioning Use
Especially in warmer climates, there’s no way you’ll avoid using your air conditioner during the summer months. However, you can make your unit more efficient by following these use guidelines:

• Set your thermostat to the mid-70s. This will keep your unit from running constantly and increasing your bill. Use fans to circulate the cool air.

• Turn your AC off at night and when you’re away from home.

• Replace your AC filters frequently. Clean or replace your filters monthly—this will keep your unit running at its most efficient.

• Make sure your vents are unobstructed. Move all furniture away from your AC vents.

These simple tricks will keep your house cool without having to run your unit 24/7.
4. Use the Weather to Your Advantage
You can outsmart Mother Nature by using breezes for ventilation in your home, closing the blinds or curtains during the day to keep sunlight out, and keep all your windows closed when running the air conditioner.

When you can, cool off with a cold drink or a dip in the pool instead of cranking up the AC. Consider installing exterior awnings to keep more sun out of your home. Turn the temperature down on your water heater (to 120˚, the “warm” setting).
5. Appliances
Use your appliances wisely as the weather warms up. Leaving lights on, running a less-than-full load of dishes or laundry, or using your stove and microwave often heat up your house and raise your energy bill.

If you can, avoid running your dishwasher or washing machine during the day. Consider letting your laundry air dry and drying your dishes by hand. Unplug electronics like your DVD player, TV, and phone charger when not in use. Use an outdoor grill instead of your oven whenever possible. If you have an extra fridge or freezer in the garage, see if you can consolidate your food into the house fridge and unplug the one in the garage.

Using these tips will keep your home cool and comfortable during the summer and keep your energy bills manageable.
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