Friday, May 18, 2012
Prepare Your Home for the Hot Summer Months
I live in Arizona and that means that I’m getting ready for the high energy bill months. As spring turns into summer, the first thing on my chore checklist is to prepare my home for the hot summer season. Anything I can do to reduce my energy use not only saves me money on my monthly electricity bills but it also helps reduce my environmental impact.
Depending on where you live, try one or more of the following ideas to prepare your house for the hot dog days of summer.
Air Conditioning Checkup
You may change your air conditioner filters every month or every three months but when was the last time you had your air conditioning unit serviced? Regular maintenance keeps your expensive air conditioner in tip-top shape and a unit that runs more efficiently due to proper maintenance can help reduce your monthly energy use.
My favorite energy-related upgrade is a programmable thermostat. I love that I can set it and forget about it. I know that at night the temperature will drop down a few degrees so we can all sleep in a cool house and then the next morning it automatically goes up to our preset daytime temperature.
If you’ve been putting off a landscaping project, now may be the time to get started. Strategically placed shade trees or shrubs can help shade your windows and keep your house from getting as warm during the day, especially if you have windows that receive light from the setting sun.
Exterior Window Coverings
Trees are just one way to shade your windows from the outside. Other options are available including awnings, screen shades and even window tint. Make sure you do your research first though, because some products may void a window’s manufacturer warranty.
Do you know where your home’s energy leaks are? If you don’t, then sign up for an energy audit and let a professional help you make your home as energy efficient as possible. If you’d prefer to save your money for energy efficient upgrades, skip the professional and perform a DIY home energy audit instead.
Energy Efficiency Upgrade Rebates
Once you complete the energy audit, check out the United States Department of Energy’s Tax Credits, Rebates and Savings website before you perform any energy efficiency upgrades. Homeowners can search through the offers available in their state and save a little money on what might be pricey upgrades.
How do you prepare your home for the hot summer months?