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Summer energy tips for your home

Cool down your bills with these summer energy tips.

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Save with summer energy tips. Photo by GabrielaP93 on Flickr.For most parts of the country, the summer months mean bright sunny days and warm temperatures that can make your energy bills soar. Not only is high energy consumption bad for the environment, it can be devastating to your wallet. There are a few summer energy tips you can follow when the weather gets warm to help your energy bills.

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In many homes, the kitchen is the room that gets the most use. With all of its appliances, it also can consume the most energy. Follow these summer energy tips and start your energy-saving efforts in the kitchen to jump-start your savings.

    • Use your microwave as much as possible. According to the California Energy Commission, microwaves use roughly two-thirds less energy than the stove. It won't heat up your kitchen. Better yet, use your outdoor grill whenever possible.
    • Use your dishwasher to wash your dishes, as it uses less water than hand-washing them. Turn it off before the heat-drying cycle comes on, and let your dishes air dry instead. You'll save on energy, and the dishwasher won't have the chance to heat up your kitchen.
    • Keep your refrigerator as full as possible to keep it energy-efficient. Every time you open the refrigerator door, the warm summer air flows in. If your fridge is full, it won't warm up too quickly, will stay cooler and use less energy.

Making slight changes in your day-to-day activities can also help you to save energy during the summer months. These energy tips for summer may not seem like much, but even the smallest bit of energy saved will help to keep the cost down.

    • Schedule chores that produce heat or moisture, like cleaning and laundry, early or late in the day so you're not adding additional heat to your home when the outside temperatures are soaring.
    • Combine your outdoor excursions so you make as few trips in and out of the house as possible. Each time you open your front door, you let in the hot outdoor air.
    • No matter how much time you spend in your pool, limit the amount of time the filters run to only four to five hours each day and try to run it during off-peak hours.

Whether you use air conditioners to keep cool in the summer or other types of air conditioning solutions, keeping the hot summer air from entering your home is key to saving as much energy as possible. There are some summer energy tips you can follow using the do-it-yourself approach, but others may require professional contractors

    • If your home has central air conditioning, use a programmable thermostat so that you can run your air conditioner less during the hours you are not at home, thereby saving power consumption. The Public Service Enterprise Group reports that for each degree you raise your air conditioner's thermostat, you can save 3 to 5 percent on the energy cost.
    • Keep the doors closed to any rooms you do not use frequently so you are saving energy by not trying to keep them cool.
    • Invest in thermal drapes that will help keep out the summer heat. Use them on any windows that face the midday sun.
    • Check for holes and cracks in the seals around your doors and windows, and have them resealed.
    • Have your central air conditioning unit routinely maintained. A qualified cooling contractor will be able to give you an air conditioner estimate if you need to replace it, unless it is still under warranty.

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These summer energy tips should help keep your bills down when the weather turns warm. Remember to start checking your home's insulation and putting together your list of things to do in the spring before the temperature rises too much so you can get a head-start on your savings.

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Photo credit: GabrielaP93 via Compfight CC.