Chill Out on Energy Spending This Summer

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Don’t let the summer heat stifle your savings! The warmer months can take a toll on your energy bill if you’re not careful, but don’t worry: Virginia Energy Sense has your back.

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To start, consider conducting your own home energy assessment to find out where you can save the most. And be sure to purchase ENERGY STAR products if you decide to upgrade or replace what you currently have.

Follow these cost saving tips to reduce energy consumption in your home this summer:

Treat Your Air Conditioning Well

  • Vacuum AC registers regularly to remove dust.
  • Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking airflow through the registers.
  • Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
  • Close air vents in rooms you don’t use. Ensure the vents in the rooms you use are fully open.
  • Place deflectors on vents that are underneath tables and furniture to redirect airflow.
  • Change your air conditioner’s air filter every three months to ensure good airflow throughout your house.
  • If you live somewhere where it cools down at night, turn off the AC and open your windows before going to bed. When you wake up in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to retain the cool air.
  • If you use an air conditioning window unit, make sure you have the right size. An oversize unit will cool the room but remove only some of the humidity, giving the room a clammy feel.

Use Your Home’s Existing Resources To Cool Down

  • If you have a programmable thermostat, have it raise your home’s temperature setting when you’re not there.
  • If you have a manual thermostat, set the temperature higher when you aren’t at home.
  • Ensure your ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise. On hotter days, raising the thermostat by only two degrees and using a ceiling fan may cost 14% less annually than using AC alone.
  • Don’t have a ceiling fan? Use a portable room fan.
  • On mild days, open your windows for natural ventilation and turn the air conditioner off.
  • Install LED lightbulbs, which run cooler. Old-fashioned incandescent bulbs waste 85%–90% of the electricity they use in the form of heat.

Keep the Heat Away

  • Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as using the oven, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.
  • Large ovens produce significant heat, so cook using microwaves, slow cookers, and toaster ovens whenever possible. Alternatively, consider grilling outside.
  • Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. If you have an indoor air conditioning unit, use the insulation materials included to minimize leaks.
  • Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows.
  • Check that the insulation in your attic is sufficient. If you can see any of the joists, you probably need more insulation. In addition, the insulation should be evenly distributed from wall to wall.
  • Open the blinds on the shady side of your home to let in daylight and save electricity. Keep the blinds closed to direct sunlight to avoid raising the temperature inside.

Don’t Forget About Your Water

  • When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside, not to the attic. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation, which is the use of a localized exhaust fan.
  • Water heating accounts for almost 20% of the energy consumed in your home. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll not only save energy but also avoid scalding your hands.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider switching your washing machine temperature setting to cold. According to ENERGY STAR, 90% of the energy used to operate a washing machine comes from heating the water.

Find Incentives and Rebates

Your energy provider may offer programs that compensate you for conserving energy or purchasing energy-saving products. Government and local organizations also offer incentives that you could qualify for.

Watch the video below to discover other ways to enjoy some cool energy savings this summer.

Share these and other home energy saving tips with your friends and family members to help them have a more comfortable, and affordable, summer.