“Staying cool” is the name of the game in the summer. It also costs money. We’ve centralized the most simple and effective ways to cut down on your energy budget here:
Reduce Air Conditioner Usage – It’s simple. AC units drain energy, and the less they are used the more you’ll save. This starts with a programmable thermostat which alone can save up to 20%. Simply set the thermostat to be at a high setting (such as 85 degrees) whenever the home is going to be empty. Close blinds and drapes before you leave for work. This will minimize the suns ability to heat your house while you are gone, and in turn will leave your AC unit off longer.
See Also — Our post on using fans efficiently to reduce AC usage
Save Electricity – Open windows and turn off lights whenever possible. Cook outside when possible. Using the kitchen oven will heat the inside of your house! You’re likely using electronics less in the summer. Unplug them and turn off power strips when not in use.
Saver’s Switch – Xcel Energy®, the main provider of power to Minnesota homes, will install a ‘Saver’s Switch’ to your existing AC unit at no cost. The Saver’s Switch is only activated on select summer days and odds are you won’t even notice when it is. The switch cycles your air conditioner on and off in ~20 minute intervals. Your furnace fan stays on to cycle already cooled air. In addition to lower consumption, Xcel will also give you a discount on your entire energy bill just for enrolling in the program (~15% during summer months!)
Laundry – Aside from your HVAC system, dryers consume the next most amount of power. The warm summer air is free. Give your dryer a break this summer and hang your clothes to dry outside!
Turn Down the Water Heater – Perhaps you can stand to have a cooler shower now than in the winter. 120 degrees is a good setting for the summer months.