Now that summer is here and temperatures are rising, it's essential to find ways to keep your home cool without breaking the bank. At Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty, we understand that homeowners want to enjoy a comfortable living space while also being conscious of their energy consumption and costs. Here are some practical and effective summer energy saving tips to consider implementing in your home.
1. Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to set specific temperature schedules for different times of the day or week. This way, you can adjust the temperature when you're not at home or during cooler parts of the day, reducing the need for constant cooling. By programming your thermostat to raise the temperature when you're away or asleep, you can save up to 10% on your cooling costs.
2. Use energy efficient appliances
If you're in the market for new appliances, consider purchasing those with energy star certifications. These appliances are designed to use less energy than their non-certified counterparts, which can lead to significant savings on your energy bills. Look for energy efficient air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and other appliances.
3. Seal air leaks
Air leaks around windows, doors, and other openings can cause your air conditioner to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. Sealing these gaps with weatherstripping or caulk can help prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering, reducing the strain on your cooling system.
4. Insulate your attic
Proper insulation is essential for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home year round. In the summer, a well insulated attic can prevent heat from entering your living space, reducing the need for air conditioning. Consider adding insulation to your attic if you haven't already, or upgrading to a higher R-value if your current insulation is insufficient.
5. Install energy efficient windows
Energy efficient windows can help keep your home cooler in the summer by reducing heat transfer from the outdoors. Look for windows with double-pane or triple-pane glass, which provides better insulation than single-pane windows. If you're not ready to replace your windows, consider applying a window film to your existing windows to improve their energy efficiency.
6. Use ceiling fans
Ceiling fans can help circulate cool air throughout your home, making it feel more comfortable without relying solely on air conditioning. Be sure to set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise in the summer, which will push cool air down and create a cooling effect. Remember to turn off the fan when you leave the room since fans only cool people, not spaces.
7. Close curtains and blinds
Sunlight streaming through your windows can significantly heat up your home, causing your air conditioner to work harder. By closing curtains and blinds during the hottest parts of the day, you can block out the sun's rays and help keep your home cooler. Consider investing in thermal curtains or shades for even better heat-blocking performance.
8. Cook outdoors or use the microwave
Using your oven or stovetop can generate a lot of heat inside your home, making it harder to keep cool. On hot summer days, consider cooking outdoors on a grill or using your microwave to prepare meals. This will reduce the amount of heat generated indoors and help keep your home more comfortable.
9. Plant shade trees
Strategically planting shade trees around your home can help block the sun's rays and keep your home cooler. Deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in the winter, are an excellent option because they provide shade in the summer and allow sunlight to warm your home in the colder months. Be sure to plant trees on the south and west sides of your home for maximum shading benefits.
10. Perform regular maintenance on your cooling system
A well maintained air conditioner will run more efficiently and use less energy. Be sure to change your air filter regularly, and have your cooling system serviced annually by a professional. This will help ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency and reduce the likelihood of costly repairs.
If you’re considering buying or selling a home in Cedar Rapids or the surrounding areas, contact Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty today. Our agents are here to help you and answer any questions you may have.