The Bay Area is blessed with year-round temperate weather, but it does get pretty hot here; especially during the summer. The hotter weather comes at a price as we crank up the air conditioning to get a break from the heat. While high electric bills are expected between June and September, it doesn’t have to be the rule!
Here’s how you can save energy (and some cash) while still being comfortable during the warm summer months.
Be smart with the thermostat
Having the air conditioner on full blast may feel great, especially after coming in from the heat, but you probably won’t like it once the bill arrives. PG&E recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re at home and even higher overnight or when you’re away. When it’s time to turn on your air conditioning, avoid the temptation to crank the temperature to something cooler than usual. This won’t cool your home any faster but can make your usage (and bill) skyrocket.
Keep it breezy
Instead of relying heavily on your air conditioner, opening the windows and using fans can be effective at keeping your home cool. Ceiling fans are great for cooling entire rooms and portable fans can work with your air conditioner to circulate the cooler air throughout your home. While you want to keep your windows and blinds closed during the hottest parts of the day, opening them during the cooler evening hours can invite the cooler air inside.
Stay on the lower floors
Heat rises so if you have a two-story home, the upstairs portion will usually be warmer than the first floor. To beat the heat, stay downstairs as much as possible during the day.
Avoid adding heat to your home
Sometimes we’re guilty of making our homes warmer. Control heat buildup during the day by not running large appliances like the oven, dishwasher, or even the washer and dryer during the day. Save those chores for later when the temperature drops. Instead of sweating over the stove, use a more energy-efficient appliance like the microwave, air fryer, or Instant pot, cook outside, or use this as an excuse to get take out from your favorite restaurant.
Think strategically when it comes to washing. Wait to run the dishwasher is full before running (same goes for the laundry) and let the dishes air dry. When it comes to doing the laundry, use cold water to wash your clothes and consider letting your clothes air dry. If you’d prefer, wait until the evening to run the dryer.
Did you know your lighting may be making your room warmer? 90% of the energy incandescent bulbs use is given off as heat, which can raise the temperature in your room! Switch these inefficient bulbs for more efficient CFL or LED bulbs.
Turn it off
If you’re not using something, turn it off. You can go a step further and unplug appliances for additional savings.
Along with these everyday eco-friendly tips, you can keep cool in your home and enjoy the energy efficiency granted to you by the latest technology, appliances, and outdoor living spaces.
SummerHill Homes remains committed to conserving our precious resources. That’s why we’ve partnered with Build It Green to confirm that our construction practices achieve the high green standards that we set for our homes. Many of our current communities have received Build It Green GreenPoint Rated certification.