How to cut energy costs this summer

Summer is a season of rest and relaxation. Warm air and abundant sunshine often inspire a laid back feeling that lasts until the leaves begin to fall off the trees in early autumn. But summer also can be hard on homeowners, particularly in regard to their monthly energy bills.

As summer heats up, energy bills may rise right along with the mercury in the backyard thermometer. Warmer temperatures outside compel many people to rely more and more on their air conditioners, leading to a spike in energy bills. Fortunately, there are ways to lower summertime energy bills without sacrificing comfort on hot days and nights.

Upgrade your insulation. People who own their homes can conduct an inspection of their homes’ insulation to see if it can be upgraded. Direct Energy, which provides energy to more than four million home and business customers across North America, recommends sealing any drafts around windows or doors with weather stripping or spray foam. Sealing drafts can ensure cool air stays inside the home on hot days, potentially preventing homeowners from having to run their air conditioners on full blast to keep their homes cool.

Upgrade your thermostat. Homeowners who don’t already have a smart thermostat can install one to help lower their energy costs. The Alliance to Save Energy notes that such thermostats can help homeowners optimize their homes’ energy usage. Smart thermostats allow homeowners to control the climate in their homes remotely while also showing homeowners their energy consumption in real time. Smart thermostats can show homeowners just how long it takes to cool a home, allowing homeowners to keep their air conditioners off while no one is home but still ensuring the home is comfortable, and that no energy was needlessly wasted to make it so, when they arrive home at night.

Reconsider how you use your appliances. Bankrate.com notes that washing machines and dishwashers consume the same amount of water and energy whether these appliances are full or not. Wait to use washing machines and dishwashers until you have full loads. This provides more bang for your buck. In addition, hand-dry dishes and hang clothes on a backyard clothesline to save even more energy.

Energy costs tend to rise when summer hits full swing. But a few simple measures can help homeowners cut costs without sacrificing comfort.