Over the past few months, we’ve been spending more time inside our homes than usual, using it as an office for remote work, classroom and social settings. With the increased use of air conditioning and devices to stay connected to friends and family, the summer heat can lead to increases in energy consumption. This increased activity can lead to elevated energy bills, and we at Virginia Energy Sense (VES) are here to share some simple tips on how you can reduce your energy consumption at home over the longterm.
Summer Home Energy Saving Tips
- Maintain your HVAC – Regularly change your AC’s air filter to ensure good air flow throughout your home during the summer.
- Adjust your water heater – Water heating accounts for almost 20% of the energy consumed in your home. Reduce the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F) to reduce energy use at home.
- Open the blinds – Instead of turning on all of the lights throughout your home, consider opening the blinds and letting natural sunlight brighten your home instead.
- Flip the switch – Turn off lights, computers, and other equipment when they’re not in use and overnight. Leaving them on, or plugged in when not in use, leads to higher electric bills.
- Seal air leaks – Prevent warm air from leaking into your home by sealing cracks and openings.
- Open windows – On mild days, open your windows for natural ventilation and turn the air conditioning off.
- Adjust your fans – During the summer, adjust your ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction to recirculate the air and generate cooler temperatures throughout your home.
- Use programmable thermostats – When you leave your home during the summer, set your programmable thermostat to a higher temperature than normal to keep energy costs low. When you return, lower the temperature to around 78 degrees to keep energy use at a minimum.
- Swap in LEDs – Switch out your incandescent lightbulbs with energy efficient LEDs. In comparison to incandescents, LEDs use up to 80% less energy and last several times longer.
- Use energy efficient appliances – Older appliances are not as efficient as newer models, so consider swapping them with energy efficient equipment to increase your home’s overall energy efficiency.
For more information on ways to save energy this summer, check out the VES infographic, “Fun in (and out of) the Sun at Virginia Energy Sense.” You can also visit our YouTube page featuring several How-To videos to walk you through the process of sealing air leaks, installing a programmable thermostat and more.