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5 Ways to be Energy Efficient This Summer

June 14, 2022

Summer is here, and temperatures are heating up. Unfortunately, our planet is, too. So, how can we stay cool enough to enjoy everything the next couple of months offer? Here are 5 tips to get you started (psst, they’ll save you money, too). Before we share ways to stay cool, calm, and eco-conscious as the mercury rises, let’s touch on why it’s essential to do so.

Why Summer is a Good Time for Sustainability

While winter is generally associated with a heavier carbon footprint, the average 4-person household still pumps out around 83,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Between flights to far-away destinations and tasty barbecues, summer fun can be associated with high greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, there’s not only a cost incentive for energy efficiency in the summer but also the green thing to do.

You can still have your ice cream cone—and eat it, too—with these 5 tips for summer energy efficiency.

sustainable home

5 Ways to be Energy Efficient This Summer

1. Assess Your Energy Footprint

When’s the last time you got to know your carbon footprint? Are you aware of the impact of your home and everyday activities? Bring in the summer days with a nice glass or lemonade and the EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator.

To make improvements, it’s good to know where you stand concerning transportation, waste, and keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. We get it. This isn’t the most fun way to spend those increasingly longer days. So, reward yourself with a cruise around the block on your Blix.

2. Be Wise with Your Thermostat

Are you a 68-degree-er? More comfortable at 71℉? Can you tolerate windows open all summer? We all have our thermostat preferences, but according to the U.S. government, it should be 78℉ (or above) while we’re home during the summer.

The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the better for our planet and your wallet. The misconception is that your air conditioner works harder to cool a space after the thermostat has been set back. So, if you’re away for a weekend or no one’s at home during the workday, you should turn your thermostat back 7-10℉—and expect roughly 10% savings in your cooling bill.

So you can spend more time playing in the sun and less time twiddling the knobs on your thermostats, a programmable version could be your new best friend. Using a pre-set schedule, you can follow Energy Star’s recommendations of 78℉ when you wake up, up to 85℉ when you’re away during the day, and 82℉ while you’re sleeping.

A ceiling fan can also boost the efficiency of your A/C, and it’ll minimally impact your energy usage while creating a wind-chill effect. In fact, when pairing a ceiling fan with your A/C, you can expect to set your thermostat up to 4℉ higher and still feel comfortable. Because they cool people—not spaces—just remember to turn your fans off while no one is at home.

3. Ensure that Your Air Conditioner is in Tip-Top Shape

While you optimize your air conditioner from the user-end of things, you’ll also want to ensure it’s functioning properly. Regular maintenance will keep it running efficiently. If coils, heat pumps, fins, and evaporative coolers aren’t checked regularly, it could result in poor performance and higher energy use.

The great news is that you can do this yourself! While an HVAC technician will be helpful for heat pump replacement, you can give your A/C a look to ensure that there’s no dust build-up or vent blockages.

You can also quickly and easily do one simple thing to boost your A/C unit’s efficiency: replace the air filter. If it’s dirty or clogged, it will prevent the A/C from absorbing heat. Just a single replacement of a dirty filter can cut energy usage by up to 15%.

indoor thermostat

4. Employ Ventilation Strategies and Keep Hot Air Out

To keep your house cool, you’ll want to keep as much heat out as possible. When you take a shower or bath, be sure to use a bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity. Similarly, fans and other types of spot ventilation can be placed in/around the kitchen and laundry room.

This also means keeping blinds down during the sunniest times of the day. You may even want to install window treatments or coverings if you’ve got several south- or west-facing windows. As a longer-term solution, you may want to consider planting trees that will eventually provide shade for your home’s sunniest windows.

5. Use Appliances and Hot Water Strategically

While it may not seem like much, using lights can heat a space. Be sure to switch to LED bulbs and stick with natural light during the day. You can also avoid using the oven, as it will bring more heat into the home.

Similarly, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers all generate heat. So, when you can cut down on the usage of these, you’ll help to keep your home cooler. Only washing clothes in cold water helps, as does hanging them out to dry instead of using the dryer. Regardless of what type of appliance you’re using, only running it when full is best, too.

What better time than summer to try out cold showers! They may take some time to get used to, but they offer several health and sustainability benefits. Water heating accounts for about 20% of your home’s energy usage, so a cool summer shower can help curb your impact.

woman with bike outside

Consider Blix for Energy-Efficient Transportation

Summer: the perfect time for cool showers and a cooler way to get around. If you’re ready to switch to sustainable transportation, let Blix show you the way. Combining style, utility, and performance, we’re here to inspire healthier, more fun, and better lifestyles for our planet.