Summer Energy Efficiency

Save energy and money as summer heats up

As we roll into July and August, we officially enter what is termed the “dog days of summer.” That phrase actually has its roots in ancient Greece. It refers to the time of year when the star Sirius becomes visible in the constellation Canis Major.

For most of us, though, it simply means it is about to get really hot outside.

As temperatures climb toward triple digits, make sure the summer weather works for you and does not make your home miserable. Take advantage of the summer and adhere to a few simple tips to help save a few bucks on your monthly electricity bill.

Central Air Advice

Central air conditioning and the ability to set your thermostat as cool as you like are wonderful conveniences. Keeping your home at 62 degrees, however, means piling up the kilowatts— and cost—in short order.

If you are concerned with your monthly electricity bill, set the thermostat as high as you comfortably can. Seventy-eight degrees is a popular recommendation, but find your own balance of comfort and cost.

Additionally, make sure you service your system and keep the filters clean to ensure it operates at maximum efficiency.

Take Advantage of the Dry Air

If you don’t have central air, don’t worry. Because of our arid climate, swamp coolers are effective and generally efficient cooling solutions. While you cannot maintain a specific temperature, you can expect to cool your home roughly 20 degrees below outdoor temperatures.

Cool Nights

While WREC members certainly feel the summer heat during July and August, nights are generally cool. Open windows when the sun goes down and close them in the morning to considerably cool your home. This a great way to bump up the thermostat a few degrees without sacrificing comfort.

Energy-efficient blinds are a great investment to provide a little extra insulation to keep your home cool during the day.

Use the Sun

Solar panels may not yet be a viable or affordable way to fulfill your daily power needs, but you can add a lot to your home and landscaping décor with solar technology. Solar lights are a great as attractive lighting to walking paths and accents to yards.

Get Your Grill On

Perhaps the best way to avoid heating your home is simply to remove any additional heat by staying outside, including when you cook. Ovens produce a lot of unwanted heat when you are trying to keep your home cool. The best solution is to take the cooking outside and fire up your grill.

We only get summer for a few months, so take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts.