Summer Savings Checklist – The Basics
Posted On: June 27, 2012
Summer is officially here and much of the nation has already felt the heat. To help you beat the heat, we’ve provided 11 basic energy-saving tips that will help lower your energy costs this summer. Learn about these great tips below and download the printable version when you’re finished to check them off the list!
Pick the Stream Energy pricing plan that makes sense for you.
Whether you’re looking for peace of mind and price security or a no-commitment variable rate plan, choosing the right plan is extremely important and should be the first item you check to ensure you are taking advantage of the best offers available.
Set your thermostat to the highest (or lowest) temperature setting that will still let you be comfortable.
In the summer, 78-80 degrees should be the goal when you’re at home and 85 degrees or higher when you’re out. With hot weather, use fans when possible to help you feel more comfortable when you’re in the room. They can make the room feel up to five degrees cooler and use a fraction of the energy that your AC does. You can also automate the process by installing an ENERGY STAR® compliant programmable thermostat. This will allow you to have the perfect temperature whenever you’re home and save money when you’re out.
Replace the five most used incandescent light bulbs with Compact
Fluorescent Lights (CFL).
Identify all the light bulbs (60 – 100W) around your house that are normally used at least 10 minutes at a time and begin to exchange them out for CFLs. CFL bulbs use 75% less electricity, produce 90% less heat and will last up to 10 years compared to a standard incandescent bulb.
Turn off all lights, fans, TVs, computers and other electronics when not in Use.
Electronic appliances are silent users of electricity, even when they are not being used. Electricity is still being consumed to power all components, even the pilot light. The easiest way to control your electronics is to purchase and use power strips. They allow you to plug in a number of items and turn them all off at one time. Depending on the quality, they can also help protect your electronics from potentially damaging power surges. Don’t forget to unplug cell-phone and other chargers too!
Start to weatherize and seal your home.
If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed in the summer so you’re not losing cool air up the chimney. If there are drafts coming in or around your windows and doors, then consider installing weather stripping. Seal cracks and places where plumbing or electrical items enter the house or come through the ceiling. If accessible, look for and seal leaks in your duct work with mastic or the proper UL rated tape (not duct tape!).
Lower (or raise) the energy “load” on your home.
Close curtains and blinds in sunny areas, especially on west or south facing windows in hot weather, and open them in cold weather. Landscape the outer perimeter of your home so that your air conditioning unit is shaded but has sufficient air circulation, because it reduces radiant heat. Planting deciduous trees helps cool the home during the summer from the tree’s shade, and allows light to penetrate through during the winter.
Check the air conditioning filter every month and change if needed.
Dirty air filters prevent efficient airflow throughout your HVAC system, and as such, can cause your AC unit to run longer and possibly even shorten the lifespan of various parts. Therefore, regularly replacing your air filters will ensure cleaner air for you and your family to breathe as well as preventing your ducts from clogging and filling up with various dust particles. Also, be sure to check around your outside unit so that grass, leaves and dirt aren’t blocking the air conditioner coils and fins, as well.
Set your water heater to “Medium” or a baseline of 130 degrees.
You may be able to set it even lower if your dishwasher has a pre-heater. If you’re used to long showers (more than 5-10 minutes), save by shortening the time spent showering by setting the heater to run out of comfortably warm water by the time you’ve finished.
Wash clothes in cold water and wash full loads whenever possible.
80-90% of energy costs for washing clothes involve heating water for hot or warm cycles. Cold water detergents do just as well in almost all cases.
Use the automatic drying setting on your dryer rather than timed drying and dry full loads.
By using the timer setting, you run the risk of over-drying your clothes (potentially damaging them). Don’t forget to clean the lint trap after every load; that leads to airflow efficiency which means longer life on your unit.
Turn off the Heated Dry setting on your dishwasher and let the dishes air dry inside.
Wash full loads here as well.
Make sure you download the printable file to check off these great tips as you complete them!