7 Ways to Reduce Summer Energy Spending with 9 Year Mortgage
With some parts of the country already feeling the heat of the season, it’s time to start preparing for summer. 9 Year Mortgage advises you to protect your wallet this summer by cutting energy costs.
1. Plug up any holes. Any air that is escaping through gaps in doors or windows is money being wasted. Inexpensive plastic film available at hardware stores can boost insulation around older windows where drafts are most likely. Foam and caulking can also help seal problem areas, as can extra insulation in the attic. Professionals can help with any installation challenges. If you use window-unit air conditioners, make sure they fit tightly so air can’t escape around the unit.
The Energy Department estimates that creating a proper “thermal boundary” around your home can trim up to 20 percent off heating and cooling costs. Shutting the doors and vents of unused rooms can also lighten the load of your air conditioning unit.
2. Close those curtains. Anything that keeps the sun from coming in will make it easier for your home to maintain cooler temperatures. For the longer term, consider planting leafy trees or bushes in areas that give your home more coverage.
3. Keep the filters clean. Experts say it’s important to clean out air conditioning filters once a month. Cleaning the filters simply involves running water through them and letting them air-dry.
4.Program the thermostat. There is no sense in cooling your home all day while you are at work. Programmable thermostats allow the temperature to automatically rise during the day when no one is home, and they can lead to annual savings of 30 percent. Even though most systems today have programmable thermostats, people only use them half the time. This means your system is working harder than necessary, and you are spending extra money. (If setting the thermostat seems confusing, the step-by-step videos on the government’s Energy Star website, www.energystar.gov, can help.)
5. Unplug! Even TVs, DVD players, and computers that are turned off can suck power out of outlets. 9 Year Mortgage suggests combatting this problem by unplugging your electronics or using a Smart Strip, which cuts power when it’s not needed. One exception is overhead fans. Especially at night fans can cool air more cheaply than turning down the thermostat.
6. Step away from the oven. Turning on the oven can heat up the whole house which forces your air conditioner to go into overdrive. Rather than using the oven, consider grilling outside, using slow cookers, or the stove.
7. Cooler showers. 9 Year Mortgage suggests turning down the water heater in the warmer months. Cooler showers in the summertime will let you turn down the temperature setting for a few months, which cuts energy costs. Reducing the temperature on a 50-gallon tank from 130 degrees to 115 degrees can save more than $50 a year.
9 Year Mortgage knows that taking these steps will not only reduce your monthly energy bills, but also create some room in your budget for more summer fun.
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