This Summer, Stay Cool for Less Money by Following These Energy Saving Tips
Don’t let the summer heat drain your budget. There are smart ways to beat the heat while lowering your energy costs.
Virginia Energy Sense is here to help you find energy-efficient ways to save money on your energy bill. To start, there are many simple tasks you can perform every day to reduce your energy consumption:
- Turn the lights off. Keeping the lights off when you’re not at home can save you up to 40% on your energy bill. Make it a habit to switch off lights in unoccupied rooms and take advantage of natural daylight whenever possible.
- Unplug small appliances. Did you know that appliances account for about 20% of all energy used in the home? Unplug small appliances when they’re not in use to eliminate phantom power, which is the electricity consumed by a plugged-in device that is turned off or on standby. This simple step can lead to significant energy savings.
- Use fans, but turn them off when you leave the room. Ceiling fans can make a room feel five degrees cooler and are more cost-efficient than air conditioning. During the summer months, ensure that your ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise to circulate cooler air. Additionally, turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room to avoid wasting energy.
- Set your water heater to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating water accounts for around 18% of a home’s energy consumption. By setting your water heater to 120 degrees or lower, you can reduce energy waste while still enjoying hot water for your daily needs.
- Keep lamps and TV sets away from your thermostat. The heat from these appliances makes your thermostat think the room is warmer than it actually is. Ensure accurate temperature readings by keeping these heat-emitting devices away from the thermostat.
There are also one-time improvements you can make today to save on energy tomorrow:
- Install LED lightbulbs. LEDs use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs — and because they can last more than 20 years, they rarely need replacing. LEDs also stay cooler than their incandescent counterparts, keeping your home more comfortable during the summer.
- Seal cracks and openings to keep warm air out of your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household could save 10%–20% on heating and cooling by sealing leaks and cracks that let air in and out. Add caulk or weatherstripping to block air leaks around doors and windows.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature. This saves energy while you’re away from home or asleep. You can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by adjusting your normal thermostat setting by 7–10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day — raising the temperature in summer and lowering it in winter.
- Maintain your air conditioner by cleaning or replacing filters monthly or as needed. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5%–15%.
For additional savings, consider conducting your own home energy assessment to identify areas where you can save — or have an energy professional conduct an audit for you. You can also apply for rebates. Visit our incentives and rebates page to find government or energy provider cost-saving programs your home or business may qualify for.
By following these energy saving tips, you can stay cool during the summer while reducing your energy costs and minimizing your environmental impact. Start making smart choices today and enjoy a more energy-efficient and comfortable summer.