Our utility bills seem to rise along with the thermometer come summer. Certain steps and upgrades can help cut down on cooling costs and other seasonal home expenses.
One minor task that has major impact is cleaning the HVAC filter, says Ameeta Jain, co-founder of Homeselfe. Regardless of the unit you own, cleaning the filter on a regular basis is important. When the filter is dirty, the system consumes more energy. With a clean filter, the system can cool your home more efficiently.
Another task to consider is mulching your garden, Jain says. Mulch lessens the amount of watering needed for plants, reducing expense and consumption. Mulch works to prevent evaporation so plants have more time to absorb water.
Jain recommends using a rain barrel to collect water, as well. Harvested rainwater can be recycled in the garden, saving even more money on water bills.
Energy-smart upgrades are also a consideration, Jain says. Apply window film to your windows to block heat from entering the home (while preserving the view!), resulting in less use of the A/C. The best part? Window films on the market these days are easy to DIY-apply.
Consider installing a programmable thermostat, too, says Jain. Newer models allow you to set different temperatures for various times throughout the day. You may, for example, want to set your thermostat to turn off while you’re at work and then cool down right around the time you’re on your way home.
Though these tips are seasonally-related, they can be applied year-round, Jain adds: “It’s always a good time to reduce your energy consumption and save on utility bills!”