Keeping Your Energy Bill Down in Summer, Part One: Decrease the Heat
Here in the Tennessee Valley, our biggest energy bills usually come during the long, hot summers. We’ll be taking a look at a variety of ways you can reduce those bills, starting today with some simple tips on decreasing the amount of heat you let into or create in your home.
- Use Your Windows Wisely: While new energy-efficient windows can make a big difference in your energy bills, they’re also a big investment. A less expensive way to keep cool is to use shades or blinds that are a reflective white on the outside. These are especially important on the east- and west-facing windows of your home, because those are the ones that let in the most heat. On the other hand, opening the shades or blinds on north-facing windows can help you save energy on lighting, while not letting in a significant amount of heat.
- Let Off Some Steam: Taking a hot shower or boiling water on the stove can create a whole lot of steam, which will make your home even hotter and more humid. Use bathroom and kitchen fans to draw that steam out of your home. Ideally, these fans should vent outside, not into your attic. If you’re not sure where they’re venting, you may want to have that checked.
- Grill, Don’t Bake: Another heat-producing culprit in your kitchen is the oven. That’s why baking is a great way to make your home warm and cozy in the winter. During the summer, avoid using the oven, especially on very hot days. Use the stove or microwave instead, or grill outside, with the grill situated at a safe distance from your home to prevent harmful carbon monoxide gas from getting inside.
- Dry It On the Line: Not only does your clothes dryer use a lot of electricity, it also warms your home, forcing your air conditioner to work harder. So a simple clothesline in your backyard can make a big difference in your summer energy bills. Plus, your laundry will have that fresh, dried-on-the-line smell you remember from grandma’s house!