Summer Guide for an energy efficient home
Utility bills are brutal in the summer when you're looking for an escape from the Oklahoma heat. At Genesis Electric we want to equip you with the right strategies, so you can stay comfortable without breaking the budget.
Use Natural Ventilation
Central Oklahoma has plenty of wind, so use it to your advantage. The Chimney Effect is when wind that blows against your home is sucked into a window. On cool summer nights, turn off your central air and allow the breeze to keep your home a comfortable temperature.
This effect works best in houses with vaulted ceilings with windows near the top. Cool air is brought in through the lower windows, and warmer air escapes through the upper windows.
In the morning, shut the windows to trap the cool air inside. The longer your home is a comfortable temperature, the less time you have to run central air conditioning.
Upgrade your windows to keep out the heat
Efficient windows save money year around. Install interior blinds to block out the sun during those hot days, and exterior blinds can help too.
Some thick draperies with reflective backings can reduce heat by nearly 33 percent, which allows you to keep your thermostat at a higher temperature. Mesh window screens and insulated panels can also reduce how quickly your home heats up.
Other options include shutters and storm panels that can reduce both heat gain and heat loss.
Weather stripping and caulking windows will also help keep you from cooling down the outdoors as much as you are cooling down your house.
Reduce the temperature on your water heater
18 percent of the energy consumed in your home is from heating water. Lower your monthly bill by dropping the temperature on your water heat to 120° F, or the warm setting. Energy.gov offers a guide for picking the right size water heater and the different types if it is time for an upgrade.
Don’t allow appliances to contribute to the heat
Your computers, the washer and dryer, the oven and other appliances can cause your home to heat up fast. Obviously, you can’t stop cooking or cleaning your clothes, but you can schedule these activities strategically, so you’re not sweating in the afternoon.
Cook enough food for several days at a time instead of every day. Consider grilling outside on those really hot days. Even using natural lighting and turning off your lights will save on your electric bill and reduce the heat in your home.
Wait to start the washer and dryer until you have a full load, and start the machine in the cooler mornings rather than the hot evenings. Use a clothes line to eliminate the need for you to use your dryer. This strategy will save on electricity and keep your home from heating up.
Use Smart Thermostats
Schedule the temperature in your home with a smart thermostat. There is no reason to cool your home if you are at work, so bump the temperature several degrees for specific times on certain days of the week. The closer you home’s temperature is with the outdoor temperature the less energy you will use to keep the space cool.
Employ fans in your home
Ceiling fans and box fans can help move the air in your home and allow you to turn up your thermostat while remaining comfortable. These help create the “wind chill effect” so while it is hotter in the home, it feels cooler. However, fans cool people not rooms, so when you are not in a room, turn off the fan to save electricity.
Stand-up fans are more mobile, but ceiling fans are more efficient and versatile. We can help you install a new ceiling fan in your home.
Conduct regular maintenance
For optimal efficiency, make sure your HVAC unit is working appropriately. Change the air filters to keep your air conditioner from working harder than necessary. Common problems include low refrigerant, drainage problems or dirty filters. The Department of Energy provides an Energy 101: Infographic for cooling your home.
Genesis Electric can help you with lighting and maintenance, ceiling fan installation and other projects in your home. Call us at 405-601-0680 for a consultation on your next electrical project.