As summer temperatures rise, electricity bills often increase as well. Thankfully, you can implement a few strategies to lower those energy costs. To relieve your wallet this summer, consider the following tips.

1. Commit to Better Habits

Simple practices can make a significant impact over time. Commit to activities that you know will help reduce your electric bill. Turn off the lights each time you leave a room, and make this a non-negotiable habit. Even if you plan to return to the room soon, turn off the lights when you leave.

Unplugging your devices follows the same principle. While it might seem slightly inconvenient, make it a routine to go around your home and unplug devices at the end of the day. Using surge protectors can help consolidate this task, making it easier to manage. Surge protectors are efficient in saving energy.

Being mindful of when and how often you use various appliances also makes a difference in energy consumption. Opt to use appliances during off-peak hours when electricity demand is lower. By making these small changes, you can reduce your energy usage significantly.

2. Consider Solar Efforts

Although solar energy involves considerable up-front costs, it can significantly reduce your dependence on the electrical grid and offer long-term savings. By harnessing the sun’s power, solar panels and solar water heaters can provide the electricity needed to power your home and heat your water properly. This sustainable energy source not only lowers your reliance on conventional electricity but also benefits the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.

Investing in solar energy offers numerous advantages. Many programs offer rebates and incentives that can help offset the initial installation costs, making solar energy more accessible and affordable. These financial incentives, combined with the savings on your electricity bills over time, make solar energy a cost-effective solution in the long run.

Many people love that solar energy systems only involve a one-time installation process. These also require minimal maintenance, which is ideal for the busiest of homeowners. They rely on sunlight, an everlasting and renewable resource, ensuring a consistent energy supply without the volatility of traditional energy sources. As utility rates continue to rise, the fixed costs of solar energy become increasingly attractive, furnishing a protective cushion against future energy price hikes.

If you’re conscious of issues such as global warming, adopting solar energy contributes to environmental preservation by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. By choosing solar, you’re becoming a participant in the world’s effort to combat climate change and promote sustainability. Additionally, a solar energy system can increase the value of your property, making one a smart investment for the future.

3. Prioritize Insulation

Consider insulating specific areas in your home. Start with your water heater, as it consumes a significant amount of electrical energy to deliver hot water throughout your residence. By simply insulating your water heater, you can minimize energy waste. Along with insulation, lower the water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. This adjustment allows you to enjoy warm showers while effectively killing germs and keeping energy consumption low.

In addition to the water heater, insulate your home’s windows and doors. You want to prevent cool air from escaping outside when you’re running the air conditioning. Weatherstripping doors and windows can make a substantial difference. If you notice cracks or leaks, seal them with caulk to improve insulation. Proper insulation is also crucial for attics and thin walls. Insulating these areas helps regulate the temperature, maintaining your desired climate for extended periods.

Ensuring your attic and walls are insulated well reduces the workload on your air conditioning system. When insulation holds the cool air inside, your AC doesn’t have to struggle as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your home. This not only lowers energy consumption but also extends the life span of your air conditioning system.

4. Invest in Energy-Efficient Tools

While the sun provides natural light, you will need artificial lighting after dark and during overcast days. Additionally, there will be times when you want to block out sunlight and keep the blinds closed. In these situations, using LED bulbs can significantly reduce energy consumption and heat output compared to other types of bulbs. LEDs are more energy-efficient and cost-effective. They’re often available at better rates due to government regulations phasing out incandescent bulbs.

Investing in ENERGY STAR-rated appliances is another effective way to lower energy expenses. Examine your frequently used devices such as your air fryer, stove, or a washer/dryer combination. Switching to energy-efficient models ensures you accomplish household tasks while minimizing energy use. ENERGY STAR-rated appliances are fashioned to consume less power, reducing utility bills and limiting environmental impact.

5. Use Air Conditioning Wisely

Manually adjusting the air conditioner frequently can drive up energy costs. With the smart technology available today, you can maximize your AC’s efficiency by utilizing a programmable thermostat. This device can effectively maintain a cool home while keeping costs low. It allows you to set a schedule for your air conditioner, ensuring it operates only when needed, thus saving energy and reducing expenses.

Ceiling fans and portable fans also play a crucial role in maintaining your desired temperature. These fans circulate the air at the current room temperature, helping to distribute cool air more evenly throughout your home. Adjust the direction of your ceiling fans to ensure cool air is properly circulated. During the summer, set them to rotate counterclockwise to create a cooling breeze.

Additionally, regular maintenance of your AC unit is essential for optimal performance. Professional HVAC services can ensure your system runs efficiently. One key aspect of maintenance that you can handle on your own is replacing air filters regularly. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, causing your AC unit to work harder and consume more energy. Ideally, you should change your air filters every three months. However, if you have pets or suffer from seasonal allergies, more frequent changes may be necessary.

6. Use Natural Sources

The direction of your windows plays a significant role in keeping your home cool with the use of shades and blinds. For windows facing east and west, it is beneficial to keep them covered in either morning or evening when the sun’s intensity is the highest. North-facing or allow you to enjoy natural sunlight without significantly affecting your home’s temperature. South-facing windows should also be covered, especially during peak sunlight hours. Utilizing shades and blinds effectively can naturally keep your home cooler.

Another natural cooling method involves using fresh air at night. Depending on the weather in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area, nighttime temperatures can drop significantly. On cooler nights, turn off the AC, open your windows, and run fans for a few hours. The fans will circulate the cooler air throughout your home. In the early morning, close the windows but keep the fans running to maintain the cooler temperature. This strategy, known as passive cooling, helps extend the period your home stays cool without relying on the AC.

Incorporate Professional Assistance

While it’s nice to manage your home’s upkeep independently, there will be times when you need professional assistance. Professional evaluations of your home’s electrical system can be incredibly beneficial for preventing costly repairs and maintaining overall efficiency. Wherever you are located in the Greater Minneapolis–St. Paul area, and whether you require a repair, new installation, or an upgrade to your lighting, contact our team of electrical professionals at Finch Home Solutions in Shakopee today.

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