Summer Energy Tips from NRG

With a few easy changes to your daily routine, you’ll be soaking up energy savings.

Summer is in full swing, which can lead to higher-than-normal energy usage. But don’t sweat it. We have tips to help you conserve energy and gain control of your budget without sacrificing comfort. With a few changes to your daily routine, you’ll be soaking up energy savings. Let’s get started!

It’s easy to forget to have your HVAC system inspected when everything seems fine. But this is a great time to do it! It helps detect minor issues before they become expensive repairs and increases your AC’s efficiency - allowing you to enjoy being cool, all summer long.

During the summer months you want to keep the hot air out and the cool air in. Inspect your doors and windows for air leaks and replace any weather stripping that is worn out or broken. This is a fast and inexpensive way to save on energy costs.

Your AC will work more efficiently when vents are not blocked by rugs or furniture. Check vents to make sure they are open, clear of dust and directing air toward the center of the room. If needed, clean and lubricate the vent registers.

Use thermal drapes or blackout curtains to keep the heat out and the cool air in. Install shades on your east- and west-facing windows to help prevent summer heat from building up and block out UV rays. If you like to retain the view of outdoors, use solar shades that reduce glare and save on cooling costs.

Use fans, which use less energy than ACs, to help cool occupied rooms. For ceiling fans, set them to rotate counterclockwise to feel about 4 degrees cooler. Remember, fans cool people, not rooms. It’s important to turn them off when you leave a room.

Don’t make your AC unit work harder than it needs to. Program your thermostat 2 to 3 degrees higher from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. when energy demand is highest or if you plan to be away from home for a few hours. This small change is significant enough to save energy while keeping you comfortable.

Avoid using the oven, which can raise your home’s overall temperature, and head outdoors to cook. If you don’t have a grill, any small appliance like a toaster oven, slow cooker or microwave will do the energy-saving trick.

Avoid heat-emitting appliances like the dishwasher, washer and dryer during the hottest part of the day. Instead, try running them at night when the energy demand is lower. Also, running back-to-back loads in your dryer is more energy efficient than single loads since you can take advantage of heat buildup.

Replace outdoor lights with LED bulbs and use solar lights outside. They're cordless and will only turn on when necessary, conserving energy. It’s a great way to save energy while taking advantage of summer’s plentiful sunlight.

The AC has to work harder to force air through a dirty filter thereby shortening its life span. Set a reminder on your smartphone to clean your AC filter monthly or replace it, if needed. A clean AC filter can lower your energy consumption by up to 15% and improves cool air circulation in your home.

On mild days or cool nights, turn the AC off and open windows for natural ventilation. Open the north-facing windows during the afternoon while keeping the curtains or blinds on the south-facing closed. This will keep your home cooler and save on energy costs.

Take advantage of the long summer days by using natural light to reduce energy use during daylight hours. You can use a combination of blinds, curtains and shades to adjust the amount of lighting during different times of the day.

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