Green Summer

Save on Cooling This Summer

The warm summer months have arrived in full force this year. The cost of cooling your home in the summer accounts for half of your summer energy bill. This coupled with gas prices and the current state of the economy has everyone thinking about how to save money. And we all know it’s difficult bring “green” on a tight budget.

Following these easy tips can help you save money, cool your home, and reducing your impact on the environment. You can also view our Summer Energy Savings Brochure (PDF).

Reduce Your Footprint

Simple tips to help keep you cool this summer and reduce your footprint:

  • Stay hydrated – drinking plenty of water will keep you cooler in the summer heat
  • Use fans before air conditioning when it is warm out. Fans circulate the air creating a more comfortable environment much more efficiently than air conditioning
  • Dry air feels cooler than warm air. Investing in a dehumidifier not only prevents mold, it also makes your home feel cooler
  • Open the windows on the first floor a few inches to draw in cooler air. Open the windows on the second floor at least 6 inches to let the hot air upstairs escape.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather by wearing looser, wicking clothing that will help cool you off
  • Close the blinds/drapes on windows facing the west in the summer (open them in the winter)
  • Turn off unnecessary heat-producing devices such as power strip for computers, chargers, TVs, VCRs, and stereos when not in use
  • Cook outside on the grill to keep from heating up your home
  • Line dry your clothes to save money, energy, and keep your home cooler by using 1 less appliance
  • If you do use the dryer, throw in a dry towel to cut down on drying time
  • Turn off your heater’s pilot in the summer months
  • Switch to Energy Star compact fluorescent bulbs – they emit 90% less heat & use 75% less energy and they last 10 times longer. You save about $30 for the lifetime of each bulb! They come in different sizes and shapes for almost any fixture
  • Insulate and weather-strip your home to ensure you are not losing cool air and letting warm air in
  • If you have air-conditioner, set your thermostat to 78 degrees. Setting it lower doesn’t cool the room faster, it makes the air conditioner run longer
  • Turn off the air-conditioner when your home has reached the optimal temperature
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat, so the air-conditioner isn’t on unnecessarily when no one is home.
  • Vaccum refrigerator coils regularly, check air filters monthly and change every 3 months- clogged filters are less efficient and have to work harder thereby generating more heat

Long-Term Investment

Long-term investment tips for efficiently cooling your home include:

  • Plant native deciduous trees on south and west sides of buildings – U.S. Department of Energy studies show annual savings of $150-$200 with only 3 strategically placed trees – by shading your home you save on cooling, improve air quality, and add to the aesthetics of your home (and deciduous trees allow the sun to warm your home in the cold winter months)
  • “Cool” exterior finishes – such as siding and light-colored roofing can save on cooling in summer months by 10-15%
  • Roof vents cool buildings significantly in warmer months
  • Update older gas appliances with electric appliances
  • Replace older windows with energy efficient windows