Conserving energy and saving money on utility bills during summer months may be easier than you think. In fact, some of these tips are so simple that you may be tempted to use them all year long. Here are some summer energy saving tips for you and your clients:
Serve refreshing no-cook suppers several nights a week instead of hot meals. In addition to conserving energy use, your kitchen will stay cooler without added heat from cooking appliances. Some menu ideas that don’t require a stove, oven or microwave include salads, fruit plates, sandwiches and cold summer soups such as gazpacho.
Take advantage of warm, dry weather and save electricity by line drying your clothes outside. Your dryer will get a break and your clothes and linens will smell fresh and wonderful.
Install solar powered exterior lighting. These lights harness their power from sunlight and don’t require electricity.
Do some research and find out how much water your grass type and landscape plants actually need to avoid overwatering. You’ll conserve water, save money and avoid harming your turf and landscaping with too much moisture. To see how much water your grass and plants are actually getting from rain or from an automatic irrigation system, set small, shallow dishes around your lawn. During hot weather, it’s best to water early in the morning when evaporation rates are lowest. It’s also a good idea to mulch around plants to help minimize evaporation and lock moisture in.
Plant trees that provide shade to your home. Talk to your local nursery for advice on fast-growing trees that will thrive in your area.
Ceiling fans can help you stay cool and reduce air conditioning expenses. You can also use them to help cool certain rooms where people are present without lowering the temperature throughout your home. According to the Energy.gov website, ceiling fans can help you raise the thermostat by four degrees without sacrificing comfort. Just remember to turn off the fans when you leave the room.
To help rooms stay cooler, close curtains or window treatments during the day. White or light-colored window treatments can help reflect heat and let in natural light. Exterior awnings can help reduce room temperatures, especially on south and west facing windows. Awnings can also block bright sunlight and help prevent fabrics, draperies and rugs from fading.
If you have a swimming pool with an automatic pool sweep, turn the sweeping system on only when the pool is dirty or has debris on the bottom or on the steps. Running it continuously wastes energy and causes unnecessary wear and tear on the equipment. Turn lights, fountains and pool heaters off when the pool is not in use.
Switch your dishwasher drying cycle to air dry or energy saving mode. Wait until the appliance is completely full before running a wash cycle.
When you mow the lawn, it’s fine to leave the grass clippings on the turf. The clippings will provide a natural fertilizer, and you’ll reduce the use of plastic garbage bags.