Summer is here, and as the temperatures keep heating up here in Northern California, your home’s energy system is likely getting kicked into overdrive. Between running the AC to stay cool and keeping your swimming pools functioning optimally, you’ll likely see your energy usage rise — along with your utility bill.
How to Save Energy and Reduce Utility Costs This Summer
Here at West Coast Solar, we want to share all the handy tips you need to save energy and reduce your energy costs this summer. Keep reading to find ways to do just that, and if you’d like to learn more about switching to solar, connect with our team! We can arrange a complimentary consultation for a residential solar panel installation to power your home with clean, sustainable energy and reduce — or even eliminate — your utility bills.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
One of the simplest ways to save energy and reduce your utility bills (in the summer and year-round) is to install a programmable thermostat. Doing so is easy, and the rewards just keep on coming. A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust and program the temperature of your home according to when you are home or away. You can set the temperatures to keep your house comfortable, but without having to run your air conditioner 24/7. Plus, you can even lower your electricity bill by as much as 20% with some models.
Insulate Your Home
When you have airflow issues, your home is letting cool, conditioned air out while letting warm or hot air in. As a result, your cooling system may be working harder than it actually needs to and you’re likely paying more for your energy usage than you should be. That’s why checking your home for cracks and other openings where air leaks could occur can save you a ton on your energy usage and your bills. For simple, cost-effective insulating, fill in cracks you find on your home with caulk, which may include areas around windows and doors, and in attics and basements. Additionally, apply weatherstripping to seal cracks and openings on your windows and doors to improve energy- and cost-efficiency.
Clean Your HVAC Vents
If you have built up debris such as dirt, dust, leaves, pet dander, or even cobwebs in your home’s ventilation system, this can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Routinely maintaining your vents by cleaning and replacing filters allows air to flow more efficiently so you can enjoy a more comfortable home, all while reducing your AC unit’s energy consumption by about 5-15%.
Maintain Your Air Conditioning Unit
That being said, it’s important to have your air conditioning unit serviced professionally on a regular basis. This ensures that it is functioning optimally and providing you with the comfort you need. For older units that are 10-15 years old, it might be best to upgrade your unit to a high-efficiency system with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) of 13 or more. This can reduce your unit’s energy consumption by up to 50% and lower your overall energy costs.
Block Out the Sun to Stay Cool
A simple way to keep your house cool without running your air conditioner for hours at a time is to block out the sun with window coverings. During the day, keep your home cool by drawing the blinds, pulling down the shades, or simply covering your windows with energy-efficient drapes.
Switch to Solar
A home solar power system is a great way to make your home energy-efficient while reducing or completely eliminating your utility bill. Rather than completely relying on electricity or gas to power your home, this system harnesses energy from the sun to power appliances, heat your pool, or even charge your Smart cars. What’s more, investing in solar delivers immediate and long-term benefits that keep costs down, reduces your carbon footprint, and gives you greater energy independence.
Learn More About a Home Solar Power System
If you’re considering making the switch to solar, there’s no better time than right now. While residential solar panel installations are mandatory for new homes built after 2020, you can still take advantage of the ITC tax credit through the end of the year. Learn more about California’s solar mandate here, and connect with West Coast Solar to get started. We make going solar fun, simple, and stress-free for you and your family. Contact us today!