Energy-saving tips for sizzling summer days

August 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Hot summer days mean high electricity bills, so it helps to get up to speed on the latest power saving tips.

And thanks to a survey of some electricity providers, we’ve got some ideas for you.

From water heaters to lighting mechanisms, here are some solutions you may not have considered before.

First, let’s talk about temperature.

While you may have considered adjusting your thermostat, you may not have thought much about your blinds. Yes, bumping your thermostat up 4 degrees and turning on a ceiling fan will feel about the same as before and cut down your power bill, says TXU Energy. But angling your horizontal blinds up, instead of down, can produce more natural light and cut down on heat. Angling highly reflective blinds upward can cut down on the heat gain by 45 percent, lowering the need for cooling, according to TXU Energy.

Reliant Energy says a similar approach to keeping your home cool could involve installing solar shades, which block out heat.

Programmable thermostats can help you cut power use when you are not around, and some program themselves based on your schedule and power use, Reliant Energy said.

When it comes to lighting, motion sensors on outdoor fixtures can help cut down use, according to Direct Energy. Light sensors on lighting fixtures also can help by automatically turning outdoor lights on and off based on sunlight, Reliant Energy said.

Energy-efficient bulbs are also a smart choice, with compact fluorescent bulbs cutting electricity used for lighting by 75 percent, Direct Energy said.

Light emitting diode, or LED, bulbs, can cut energy use by 85 percent while lasting close to a decade, according to bulb manufacturer Philips.

Other factors could be raising your power bill high unnecessarily, such as a water heater set too high or a freezer kept in a hot garage.

Drop your water heater to 110 degrees to save more energy, says Direct Energy. And try not to make a high-energy appliance such as a freezer work overtime to stay at subfreezing temperatures in a 100-degree garage.

Accessing your smart meter readings could help you better manage your energy usage. Most companies now offer Web portals to check on your power consumption and even break it down by the hour or minute.

Mobile phone apps from energy providers also can help you track your usage when you are away from home, helping you to identify and modify unnecessary power use, TXU Energy said.

Comments are closed.