Energy Efficient Homes

by | Apr 6, 2022 | Blog

Here comes the sun…Making your home more energy efficient in warm weather
Any time of year, the more energy efficient you make your home, the more you save on utility bills and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. With spring in full swing and summer rapidly approaching, there are myriad ways, from free ones to investment-level improvements, that will help your home to operate with more energy efficiency as the mercury rises.
Start with an energy audit. During an audit, an expert will evaluate your home to determine its already efficient features as well as to point out where you can improve efficiency. The audit will determine which equipment is used the most and how much energy you use to give you an idea of what areas to target. For example, according to the United States Department of Energy, about half of a homeowner’s energy utility bills are from heating and cooling. This indicates that looking at how and where air goes in and out of the home could net big results. The report will suggest where to invest money to make the most impact on energy usage. As an added bonus, an energy auditor will point out any health and safety hazards. The best thing? Energy audits are free. Visit for more information and to sign up.
Seal it up. To prevent cool air from escaping the home and warm air from getting in, seal any air leaks around windows with caulk or weatherstripping. Assess the insulation in the attic to make sure you have at least 11 inches of fiberglass or eight inches of cellulose insulation. This will help keep the home cooler in the summer.
Mind your thermostat. Consider installing a programmable thermostat so that you can raise or lower temperatures, depending on the season, when people are not in the house. Some smart models even allow you to control the thermostat from your cell phone. In the summer, keep the thermostat higher, around 78 degrees if you can tolerate it, to use less air conditioning. Raise it even higher when you are away from home.
Keep air conditioning maintained. Have your system tuned up annually. In between, make sure to clean or replace filters as often as the manufacturer suggests. Consider replacing an older HVAC system with Energy STAR equipment. You can calculate potential savings and look for rebates at
Go old school. To keep the house cooler, use fans. The wind chill effect of ceiling, window, and floor fans will make you more comfortable. A ceiling fan can keep the air temperature four degrees cooler and could keep the AC from kicking in if you have the thermostat set high enough. Be sure to turn fans off when you leave a room.
Button it up. If your home is well-insulated, closing windows and lowering window coverings when the outside temperature is equal to the inside temperature on warm days can keep the house anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees cooler than outside. In some cases, this trick alleviates the need to turn on the air conditioning at all. At night, open windows to let the cool night air inside. You can boost this process by using window fans to draw the cool air in.
Plant trees strategically. Planting deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in the fall) on the south and west of a home provide shade in the summer, keeping a home cooler by blocking the infrared radiation that warms it up.
Avoid the oven. Opt for grilling outside, or using a slow cooker, electric griddle or fry pan, or other appliances inside that will not heat up the house like an oven. Or, treat yourself to dinner out, avoiding the kitchen altogether.
Skip the dryer. Take advantage of the warm weather and air dry your laundry. Annually, a dryer can account for around six percent of a home’s energy bills. Plus, the dryer is harsh on clothes. Air drying will help them last longer, so you’re helping the environment by sending less clothing to a landfill. If you don’t like the stiffness that air drying has on some garments, toss them in the dryer on low for 10 minutes and then hang to dry on a drying rack, clothesline or hanger.
Homeowners can contribute to the health of the planet this summer while keeping more money in their bank accounts by implementing these techniques.