6 Tips to (Efficiently) Survive Summer Temp Spikes
Summer temperature spikes can put a strain on our electric grid and on your energy budget. Try our tips and tricks for managing summer temps and becoming an energy efficient all-star!
- Invest in a programmable thermostat or use your regular one wisely.A programmable thermostat can save you an estimated 10% a year by adjusting the temperature for you so you’re not using the A/C as much when you’re not at home while keeping a more constant temperature all day, which is more efficient than constantly adjusting up and down. A general guideline is to keep your thermostat set to 78 degrees in the summer when you are home and raise it 5 to 10 degrees when you’re away. “Each degree you raise the thermostat can save up to 3-5% on cooling costs.” If you have a regular thermostat, try setting it a few degrees warmer than you normally would.
- Take advantage of your ceiling fans to lower the temperature and keep air circulating throughout your home.Using your ceiling fans to supplement your A/C during the summer can lower your home’s temperature by an average of four degrees. That will also help prevent your A/C from kicking on every 30 minutes just to stay cool and let’s air circulate, preventing it from becoming muggy or stagnant.
- Make energy efficiency fun for the whole family.The family that saves together stays together! Get your kids involved in the action and help them learn energy efficiency tips they can use now and in the future. The Michigan Agency for Energy has some great tips on helping kids learn to be energy efficient, including turning off lights and electronics, unplugging devices and appliances when they’re not in use, using water wisely, and more.
- Use shades or film on windows.While Michigan’s summer nights can still get fairly cool, the days can be uncomfortably hot, and glass windows magnify the heat. Have the shades open in the morning when temps are cool to help warm the house naturally, but don’t forget to close them or use films on windows to filter the direct sunlight and prevent the temperature from rising too much. “Pay particular attention to west-facing and south-facing windows, where more sunlight enters” and can cause temps to climb more quickly.
- Go natural when you can.Another good tip to cut energy use in the summer is to take advantage of natural daylight. Turn your home or office lights off during the day when rooms are naturally lit by the sun. Also, when the temperature cools in the evenings, consider turning off the A/C and opening your windows.
- Keep your HVAC system finely tuned and maintained — and use it smartly.Change HVAC filters more often during the summer months. Check your air filter monthly, especially during the summer, and if it looks dirty, change it. “A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.” Also, have a professional check out your system periodically to keep it well-tuned. Another good HVAC tip is to shut off vents in unoccupied rooms to save 5-10% on your cooling costs.
Looking for more tips to help you beat the Michigan heat while saving energy? Try these resources: