Back-to-school time can be a busy, expensive time, too. Don’t forget these simple tips to save money while everyone is on the go.
1. Set the Thermostat Higher.
It’s a common misconception that turning your air conditioner on and off causes it to work harder. In reality, they’re most efficient when running all the time rather than on and off for shorter periods. So go ahead and increase the temperature setting when you leave. You could save anywhere from 3 to 5 percent on your cooling costs with every degree difference. Better yet, invest in a “smart” thermostat and regulate your home’s temperature remotely.
2. Be Appliance Smart.
Did you know energy use can cost less at night? Use your washer, dryer and dishwasher later in the evening to save money. But don’t stop there! Remember the little things that add up to even more energy savings – like closing the refrigerator door when preparing school lunches and using the air-dry setting on your dishwasher, too.
3. Unplug Unused Devices.
Kids love their iPods, laptops and video game consoles. But these “energy vampires” can account for 5-10 percent of your energy bill – and simply powering them down isn’t enough. Keep all devices unplugged when not in use, or use a “smart” power strip or socket timer to cut power to all your electronics when they’re turned off.
4. Close Curtains, Blinds or Drapes.
Windows are the single largest heat inflow for most houses during summer and early fall. Closing curtains and blinds during the day can save you up to 15% on your total summer cooling costs. When the temperature starts to drop, reverse course and keep your curtains and blinds open to let the sunshine (and the heat) back in.
5. Get Your HVAC Checked.
It’s a great time to take your heating and cooling systems back to school, too. Swap out air filters on your furnace, and have a qualified HVAC contractor stop by to winterize your air conditioner and give your furnace a checkup. You’ll be setting yourself up for a comfortable (and energy efficient) winter and spring.
Come back each month for more energy-efficient tips to help save you money!