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Summer can bring the fun outside, but the energy bills up inside. After a long day of gardening, games and other outdoor activities, it’s important to have a place to cool off. If you live in an area that sees extreme heat, having a home at a comfortable temperature is essential.
However, keeping a comfortable home might mean a larger energy bill during the summer. After all, your air conditioner, fans and other appliances are all working hard to keep your home cool. Here are a few tips to help cut costs and stay cool this summer.
An air conditioning unit that needs repairs is often the biggest culprit of a high energy bill. Contact an HVAC contractor today for up to four quotes from local pros in your area, for free!
1. Energy-Saving Air Conditioners
Your air conditioner is where most people turn when it comes to cooling their house to a comfortable temperature. From a central unit that cools the whole home to a window unit that can cool down a room at a time, homeowners have a few options when it comes to cooling. Whatever you choose, be sure it is Energy Star certified, ensuring that you’ll get all the benefits of an efficient appliance. According to Energy Star, you could save $115 annually by installing an energy-efficient air conditioner. Depending on the unit you’ll need, you might want to contact an HVAC pro to help. The average cost to install an air conditioner is $4,828.
However, if you already use an energy-efficient unit or do not wish to replace your system, there is still plenty you can do to cut costs. Be sure to change the filters regularly and have routine check-ups to ensure your HVAC system is working properly. Fans can help keep the cool air circulating so your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard.
2. Energy-Saving Thermostat
In addition to an energy-saving air conditioner, a smart thermostat will be the perfect complement to help save you even more money. Most learn your habits and can be controlled from an app, so you can turn off the air conditioning when it’s not in use, even if you’re not home. The Department Of Energy advises to keep the temperature settings as low as comfortably possible when you’re home, or roughly 78 degrees.
3. Energy-Saving Curtains
A small detail could make a huge difference in your energy costs. Insulated curtains give your windows extra protection against the heat, by blocking the hot summer sun and helping to trap the cool air inside. They come in a variety of styles that match your décor, so you won’t have to sacrifice your style to save some money.
4. Energy-Saving Power Strip
While there are summer-specific energy-saving solutions, there are tactics you can use year-round to help save you money. An energy-saving power strip can help save you up to 10% of your monthly electric bill, according to the Department Of Energy. That’s because items like TVs, computers and other plugged in electronics continue to use power even after they’ve been turned off. An energy-saving power strip can prevent this by cutting power completely when an item is not in use, making it a worthwhile investment.
5. Energy-Saving Roofing
For hotter regions, the type of roofing you have could impact the temperature of your home. A cool metal roof can help keep temperatures down inside. The average cost of a metal roof is between $7.50/sf and $10/sf. While it may seem like a costly installation, it’s a long-lasting option that can save you money on your bills quickly. To learn more, read Create An Energy Efficient Home With A Cool Metal Roof.
6. Energy-Saving Insulation
Many older homes have insulation that may not be as efficient as it once was. Leaks and gaps in insulation can cost you a lot of money when you’re trying to cool your home in the summer. It’s a good idea to contact an insulation contractor to help you inspect where your home is most vulnerable and where you may need to seal and add extra insulation. An insulation installation is a home energy improvement you’ll see ROI on through your energy bills. The average cost to install insulation is $1,325 with most homeowners spending between $1,003 and $1,397.
7. Energy-Saving Windows
Your windows let the sunshine in, but they could also be letting the cool air out. Energy-saving windows can be the upgrade you need to save money on your bills this summer. However, as the average cost to install windows is $4,516, there are plenty of other changes you can make to your already existing windows, if they are in good condition. Consider recaulking and weather-stripping to eliminate any areas where the comfortable air is escaping. Additionally, energy-saving window treatments will be helpful in keeping conditions comfortable.
While it’s hot outside, it doesn’t have to be inside. Utilize a few of these tips to keep the comfortable air in your home and your home energy bills low this summer.
Looking for more ways to save money and have a greener home this summer? Read Going Green: How To Make The Switch Over.