Even though summer means long days and more sunshine, it also means youíre using more energy. But, by using our summer energy-saving tips around the house, it you donít have to break the bank to pay your energy bills. So sit back, cool down, and save some extra funds for fun this summer:
Air your clean laundry:
Between heating, cooling, rinsing, tumbling and spinning, it should come as no surprise that your washer and dryer use a LOT of energy. If going clothes-less isnít an option for you this summer, try following these tips to reduce your laundry energy costs:
Disconnect and relax:
- Air-dry your clothes. The good thing about extra sunshine and hotter weather is that itís almost like having a dryer outside, except it uses a whole lot less energy. If you donít have a clothesline, use a drying rack outside or in a sunny spot in the house.
- Wash full loads of laundry to avoid multiple small loads. Always rinse clothes in cold water to save on heating energy.
If itís plugged in, itís probably using energy. Even if itís turned off!
Stay cool, not cold.
- Unplug the extra fridge. We arenít suggesting you deplete your stash of Otterpops or icy cold beer for the dog days of summer, but unplugging the under-used extra fridge you have in the garage, basement or man-cave will save a LOT of energy.
- Unplug all of your electronics when you go on vacation. Cable boxes, DVRs, chargers, and TVs all use a lot of energy, even when turned off. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a recent study shows that DVRs are extremely inefficient in their energy use, costing consumers approximately $3 billion in energy costs per year.
Just because youíre uncomfortable, thereís no need to turn your house into a walk-in freezer.
- Turn UP the thermostat. Itís no surprise that air conditioning is a huge expense. If you have central air, keep your thermostat as high as you can. If you have a window unit, always unplug it when youíre not using it.
- Pull down the shades. Keep the shades down during the day to keep the sun from coming in and heating up your house. Open up the windows on a cool night instead of running the AC.
Vacations might be a luxury, but fuel costs certainly are not.
- Use the fly vs. drive calculator to calculate and compare the estimated cost AND environmental impact of flying vs. driving to your summer getaway.
- Carpool with other vacation-goers, or find out if you can take a train or bus to your destination.