When temperatures go up, utility bills do too.
To cool an entire home this summer, the energy information administration expects homeowners will pay about five percent more this summer.
Antonio King, with the Home Depot offers do-it-yourself tips to shave a bit off that bill:
1. Install and Use Fans to Cool Your Home
In an air-conditioned home, ceiling fans allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees with no reduction in comfort. It takes about an hour to install a fan, and you’ll get even more benefit from Energy Star certified ceiling fans. These fans are 60 percent more energy efficiency than standard fixtures. We have a great guide here to teach how to install your own ceiling fan.
Bonus tip: Ceiling fans cool people – not rooms – with a wind chill effect. Remember to hit the off switch when leaving a room to keep energy costs low.
2. Seal the Envelope
A properly sealed and insulated home can save up to $250 a year. Tackle a weekend project like sealing seams, cracks and openings to the outside. Protect doors from leaking air conditioning with weather stripping from M-D Building Products. For added leak protection, apply caulking or sealants from DAP around windows to keep cool air in.
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Installing a smart thermostat can save up to $180 a year. Products like the Nest Learning Thermostat or Ecobee give you control of your home from any smartphone. A tap on the phone can adjust air conditioning while you’re away, and turning back the temperature 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can save up to 15 percent a year on your bill.
4. Change Your Air Filters
Replacing air filters every 1-3 months is one of the fastest and easiest ways to lower energy consumption. Dirty air filters force your AC unit to work harder and waste energy. A fresh filter creates better air quality by trapping large particles, such as dust mites and pet dander, and smaller particles like bacteria and mold spores.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 50 percent to 70 percent of the energy used in homes is for heating or cooling activities. By properly insulating your home, you can create a more comfortable and consistent indoor climate while significantly improving your home's energy efficiency. Find the right level of insulation, known as the R-value that works for your home.
6. Add Misters Outside
Being able to enjoy the outdoors in the summer is made cooler with misters. There are a variety of options for every space, from an apartment balcony, to a large deck for entertaining some options the simple and portable bucket topper, to a free standing mister that includes a light and blue tooth sound system.
DIY projects in under 1 hour
- Install and use fans to cool
- Seal the envelope
- Change air filters
DIY weekend projects for big savings
- Seal for savings
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Install insulation
- Add misters outside