Summer is the season for lots of sunshine and longer days. Of course, we’re big fans of the sun here at Sunnova. But when those sunbeams are heating up your home, you’ll probably need extra air conditioning to cool off. And cooling that air uses a lot more energy than you would think. As things continue to heat up, here are some smart summer tips to keep you cooler for the summer in part two of our four-part Energy Efficiency series.
Around the home
Seal up air leaks. Sealing air leaks can result in up to 30% energy savings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Unplug your battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device is not plugged into the charger.
Ceiling fans are great investment you can make, particularly for rooms you use a lot, like bedrooms and your family room. Ceiling fans can make you more comfortable after you set your thermostat higher. But remember to turn them off when no one’s in the room.
Consider adding window screens, shades, blinds or window tinting to reduce the amount of sun coming into your home.
Gently wipe or vacuum your refrigerator and freezer coils (they’re usually located in the back of your refrigerator). Also, make certain there’s nothing obstructing the coils. Coils need air space to work properly.
Above your head
Keep your light bulbs clean. Dust reduces light output by as much as 25 percent.
Turn off incandescent lights when you are not in the room. Incandescent bulbs only use about 10-15% of their energy for light and the rest is given off as heat.
Replace a few of your most-used light fixtures and/or bulbs with LED lights. LED lights can be up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting such as fluorescent and incandescent lights. In fact, LEDs convert 95% of the energy, and only 5% is wasted as heat. LED also draws far much less power than traditional lighting. For example, a typical 84 watt fluorescent can be replaced by a 36 watt LED to give the same level of light.
In the kitchen
When you preheat your oven, don't let it sit empty for longer than necessary. Don't open the door to check on food. Every time you do that, you lose 25% of the heat and it has to work to heat back up.
Also, avoid using the conventional oven when you’re trying to heat up or cook leftovers. Use microwaves and toaster ovens instead.
Let your food cool down before putting it in the refrigerator. Not only does it ensure your food tastes okay, it also means your refrigerator will use less energy to cool it down.
Pack your freezer. A full freezer is more efficient than an empty freezer. Fill up space with plastic containers of water if you have a lot of empty space.
Use glass or ceramic pans in ovens; they tend to heat much faster than metal pans.
Between the sheets
Wash and dry full loads, and don't over-dry clothes.
Avoid adding wet garments to a dryer load that has already been started. It’s a similar concept to not opening your oven before it’s through cooking your food.
Keep your dryer lint trap clean. Keeping those traps clean—the dryer lint filter clean after every load of laundry.
Consider washing your clothes with cold water. Most laundry detergents made these days work just as well in cold water.
Check back next week for part three of more tips for how to stay cool. Can’t wait for more tips. We recommend you visit www.energy.gov for more information.