Summer Home Maintenance/Energy Saving Tips
Back in 2013, the National Association of Home Builders released a study on the average monthly energy bill by state across the US — and the conclusions that they came to were rather surprising. The average energy bill is actually higher in warmer states rather than in cooler states, thus confirming what many homeowners have suspected for quite some time: the average cost of cooling and other summer-related energy costs is actually higher than the cost of heating. Texas, Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina topped the list of states with the highest energy costs. And the only cold-weather states that registered higher-than-average energy bills were New York and Connecticut, both of which are among the highest-cost of living states in the first place.
The moral behind all of these statistics is that summer maintenance and energy saving is worth the effort. With a bit of hard work and up-front investment, homeowners can make a big difference in their energy bills. Here are a few of the easiest and most effective ways of lowering your expenses this summer.
- Windows and Doors. One of the best ways to make sure that the cost of air conditioning your home stays low is to keep cool air from escaping — and one of the best ways to keep cool air from escaping is to ensure that windows and doors are in optimal conditions. This means ensuring that windows and doors are properly sealed, of course, but it goes beyond this simple bit of maintenance. Preventing exposure to direct sunlight, for example, can lower your energy bill by as much as 10%. This is generally accomplished by either tinting windows, planting a tree in front of them, or both. Installing energy star windows or doors can have a similar effect.
- Vents and Filters. The vents and filters through which cool air passes are also extremely important for efficiency. Ensuring that these are well-maintained and regularly cleaned will help lower your energy bills while also improving the overall quality of air in your home.
- Smart Usage. Leaving the air, the lights, and other costly utilities running when you are not home can cause quite the spike in your energy bill. If you are frequently tempted to leave utilities running for whatever reason (for security, or to come home to a cool house, for example) then you may wish to consider investing in smart home technology, such as a smartphone controlled air or lighting system.
- Watch Water! Water is another common summertime utility expense — and one of the biggest reasons for this is the need to water grass. Weeding and dethatching can help improve the water efficiency of your lawn, while aerating and composting can help boost the overall health of your grass.
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