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5 Overlooked Tips for Saving Energy in the Summer Months

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: May 13, 2020

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Add some LED lights bulbs here, a smart thermostat there…Good job if you’ve started these or other energy efficiency upgrades at home. They are both environmentally friendly and financially smart, and will probably cause a good impact on your bills. Saving on bills can protect you from being disqualified from things like homeowners insurance after a past bankruptcy.

If you think you could do more to save energy this summer, don’t worry; there is plenty you can do without having to invest a lot of time or money.

While traditional energy-efficient improvements have always been, and probably always will be a must, some overlooked hacks can incredibly reduce your energy usage. These surprisingly practical tips enable you to go beyond the classic “energy-efficient appliances” talk and make affordable, easy-to-apply changes at home this summer.

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#1 – Know the Peak Time for Electricity Rates to Save Energy

Many people don’t know it, but utility companies charge different electricity rates depending on the time of the day and the season. For example, your energy costs on a Saturday night can be completely different from using the same appliances on a Wednesday afternoon.

Depending on where you live, you may know it as time-of-use rates or peak/off-peak rates. Whatever you call it, it’s time to know that there is a cheaper time to use electricity at home.

Electricity prices can more than double during on-peak hours, which is when most businesses, industries, and buildings are working at full pace.

During summer, peak electricity hours are generally on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., which means you will spend more money if you do laundry or use the dishwasher during these hours.

If you want to save as much as you can this summer, it’s worth turning on the most energy-consuming devices on weekends or nights, which includes items such as AC and washing machines. By the end of the summer, your energy savings could be upwards of 50 percent.

#2 – Search for Energy Rebates

Although they’ll save you money in the long term, energy-efficient improvements can be costly at the time of purchase. From new furnaces to specific appliances, most people need to wait quite some time until they start seeing their money coming back in energy savings.

Rebate programs can make payback times much shorter. Whether covering a part of your initial investments or the total cost, these incentives are usually available through governmental agencies (municipal, provincial, or federal) and can make your home upgrades much affordable.

There is a wide range of rebate options for consumers, including electric vehicles, furnaces, smart thermostats, or even solar panels; you will probably find something that fits your needs.

That’s why it’s valuable to keep an eye on new rebates in your region from time to time. Such programs are excellent opportunities to reduce your energy use and find relief for your wallet.

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#3 – Open the Windows at Night to Waste Less Energy

Natural ventilation during hot summer nights can be a great ally for your energy-saving plan, according to the United States Department of Energy. Many homeowners, however, are indecisive about it, whether due to mosquitoes or any other possible health risks, like catching a cold.

Even though this money-saving solution sounds obvious, what makes it somewhat overlooked is that many people choose not to do it, as they are unsure about its pros and cons.

In case you want to reduce your cooling costs by opening the windows on hot summer nights, find below some tips gathered by EnergyRates.ca that will make it much more comfortable and energy-efficient.

  • Check if the temperature outside is really colder.
  • Buy protection against mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Check if there’s a chance of freezing temperatures during the night.
  • Consider whether your neighborhood is safe enough for you to sleep with the windows open.
  • Close the windows/curtains once the sun starts to hit your house.

#4 – Buy Cheap Insulation Kits to Conserve Energy

Gaps, drafts, and tiny holes might be draining a good deal of your money this summer. Although insulation issues are far from being overlooked, many consumers still don’t know that they can quickly fix such problems using insulation kits that cost less than $30.

Whether a leaky window or a drafty door, a large part of your cooling costs could be reduced with simple enhancements. Cheap insulation kits aren’t long-term fixes nor do they replace traditional insulation upgrades. Still, they can be quite useful to help you maintain a comfortable temperature at home without overusing your AC.

According to a 2018 Washington Post article, reducing drafts can cut your energy costs by up to 20 percent. In other words, you will have saved the same amount of money spent on the insulation kit in a couple of months. The best thing about this upgrade is that it will help you save money on heating costs during winter as well.

#5 – Turn your Ceiling Fan Counterclockwise to Cut Energy Use

When it’s hot, we turn on the ceiling fan. Easy peasy, huh? Well, turning on your ceiling fan can actually make your house warmer if you don’t use it properly during summer.

And in case you think it doesn’t matter, know that ceiling fans can cut summer electricity bills by 47 percent if used in the right direction, according to Southern Living.

However, according to Energy Star, it’s important to note that ceiling fans can cool you and your family, not rooms. The official energy efficiency agency suggests people turn off their ceiling fan when the room is unoccupied, in order to save energy.

Your ceiling fan should run in opposite directions during winter and summer.

On hot days, ceiling fans should run in the counterclockwise direction, which makes the hot air go up and pushes the cold air down. This will help prevent you from lowering the thermostat on warmer days, and it will save you a lot on cooling costs.

Save on Your Home Expenses Through Energy Saving Tips

Implementing these tips into your routine will help cut down costs for your energy bill. Staying cool in the summer is important, and you also don’t want to burn through your bank account because you’re not saving on energy. Other ways to save on your home expenses include finding the home insurance policy that covers all your needs.

Author Bio:

Caio Bersot is a Content and Social Media Specialist at EnergyRates.ca, a leading energy rate comparison website that provides unbiased third-party reviews of electricity and natural gas providers.

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