Summer will be here before you know it! As you begin prepping your seasonal wardrobe and daydreaming about your annual summer road trip, don’t forget to get your home ready for the upcoming hot months. Doing so will not only help the planet, but it will also help you save some money on your utility bills. Here are 9 ways you can do just that (and stay pretty darn cool!):
Fix Leaky Windows
What do you do when you hear drip, drip, drip from a faucet? You tighten it up to prevent further water loss! Same goes for your windows. Keep the cool air inside and the hot air outside by locating and repairing any drafts in your windows. Seal any cracks with caulk and weather-stripping to fix any leaky windows you may have.
Block Out the Sun
Don’t get us wrong – we love sunshine and cherish the longer days of summer! But letting in too much light can heat up your home quickly. Keep your shades or blinds on your sun-facing windows drawn during the day. Step it up a notch by using blackout drapes or reflective shades to keep cool.
Make Way for the AC
Your air conditioner is doing all it can to cool you, but it can only do so much if the vents are blocked by furniture or rugs. Take a quick minute to check the vents in your home to see that they are completely unblocked. While you’re at it, make sure they’re dust-free as well!
Use a Smart Thermostat
Technology is amazing these days, isn’t it? Take full advantage and try using a smart thermostat to heat and cool your home. With one of these, you can control the temperature in your home while you’re away. This can help you warm things up while you’re out! Also, a smart thermostat usually learns your heating and cooling habits and will start anticipating your needs, which is pretty cool (and cost-effective!).
Turn to Your Biggest Fans
If you’re looking to give your AC unit a bit of a break, try keeping cool with some fans! Check that your ceiling fans are all turned counterclockwise to help you stay comfortable. Just make sure you turn all fans off when you’re not in the room!
Use LED Lights
What’s not to love about LED light bulbs? They’re affordable, cool to the touch, and don’t take nearly as much power to operate as their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts. To keep your power bill down, starting using LED lights in your home.
Say No to the Oven
And a handful of other appliances like your dishwasher and dryer – at least on the hotter days of the year! Using these appliances can add unnecessary heat to your home, which is not so great for your bank account. Cook your food on the stove, in the microwave, or on the grill outside. Also, try air-drying your clean dishes and hanging laundry outside to dry on nice summer days. Both your wallet and the Earth will appreciate it!
Unplug Every Day
Growing up, your parents probably told you to put your toys away when you were done playing with them. This same logic applies to your electronics and appliances. If you’re not using the TV, DVD player, computer, or other electronics, go ahead and unplug them to help save energy. Make it even easier on yourself by keeping these things plugged into advanced power strips. All you have to do is unplug the strip from the wall!
Go with the (Low) Flow
It’s common for water consumption to increase during the summer months. We’re not saying to stop using water, though – just be more cognizant of your usage! Water your thirsty plants in the early morning or at dusk (it’s better for the plants anyway) and consider installing low-flow water fixtures in your house to conserve H2O. Oh, and break out the broom and sweep your sidewalks and driveways instead of using the hose. These little changes will really add up!
How do you like to save energy and go a bit greener at home? Did we miss any tips? Let us know in the comments below!