The temperature isn’t the only thing rising in the summer. You might also be seeing an uptick on your energy bills as you turn up those air conditioners, run those pool pumps longer, and turn on fans. So, when the mercury’s rising, you might want some tips for how to save energy. In the summer, soaring temperatures don’t mean your energy bills need to reach record highs, too. Whether you’re enjoying the summer weather outside or from the comfort of your home, saving energy in the summer is attainable. All you need to do is follow some of these energy savings tips for summer.
Saving energy in the summer doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Here are our suggestions:
These fast tweaks might cost a little, but there’s potential for significant energy saving. Tips for summer modifications:
Windows and energy-efficient window treatments are another option for saving energy in the summer. Energy-efficient window treatments can do a lot more for a room than simply spruce up the look. Here’s how to save energy in the summer using window treatments and other window-related solutions:
Awnings: Awnings have a come a long way from the days when metal and canvas were the only material options. Today’s awnings are made from synthetics that are water-repellent and treated to resist mildew and fading. Energy.gov recommends choosing material that is opaque and tightly woven — ideally, light-colored — to get the best protection from the sun’s rays.
Blinds: Energy.gov says that interior blinds are particularly useful for summer energy conservation because, unlike shades, the slats can be adjusted to control light and ventilation. When completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, Energy.gov notes that highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by about 45%.
Window films: High-reflective window films are another strategy for saving energy in the summer. Their effectiveness depends on a a few variables: size of the window-glazing area; direction the window faces; climate; how the building is sited; and whether the window has interior insulation. Silver, mirror-like films are usually more effective than colored, more transparent ones. They also offer the best summer energy conservation if they are placed on East- or West-facing windows. Before considering window films, do consider that there are a few potential disadvantages: some loss of interior light; impaired outside visibility; cleaning requirements; and reflection. Window films can be applied by homeowners over existing windows.
Overhangs: A roof overhang works best as a summer energy conservation option if it helps shade South-facing windows. Properly-installed overhangs should still allow sunlight to filter through the windows in winter.
Shades: A properly installed window shade can be the simplest way to save energy in the summer. Shades should be lowered on windows that receive sunlight during the day in the summer. They should be mounted as close to the glass as possible so that the shade creates a sealed air space when lowered. Dual shades that are white (highly reflective) on one side and dark (heat-absorbing) on the other offer the most energy saving potential, thanks to their versatility. The reflective side should always face the warmest side — outward in the cooling season and inward during the heating season. Quilted roller shades or Roman shades (the type with layers of fiber batting) can also help save energy. They can act as insulation and also can control air infiltration more effectively than other soft window treatments, Energy.gov notes.
Shutters: Interior and exterior shutters can help with heat gain and loss. Energy.gov notes that exterior shutters likely offer the best window insulation option over interior shutters. In addition to offering weather protection and added security, they require no interior space. Solid interior shutters are best for summer energy conservation. Consisting of wood panels and a potentially decorative covering, they provide a good insulating air space when fitted tightly against a window frame.
For more energy saving tips for summer and beyond, check out 31 Days of Savings.
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