Summer is upon us, and that means here come the air conditioners, grills and copious amounts of water usage. As you'll be using different appliances, you'll want to find ways to cut corners and reduce your power usage. Energy efficiency allows you to allocate the power you do need to the necessary appliances, and also helps you save money! Check out these 19 tips to save on energy.

1. Turn Off Unnecessary Light And Use Natural Light

turning off a light switch

Whenever possible, turn off lights that don't need to be used. Try to take advantage of the extended sunlight during summer days by using natural light in your home.

2. Use Your Oven Efficiently

an oven door open

Lots of energy can be saved by knowing how to cook with your oven efficiently. Whenever you open the oven while roasting or baking something, there is a significant decrease in temperature, which means your dish will take longer to finish cooking. Don't open the oven during cooking unless the recipe specifies that this must be done. Also, turn off the oven a few minutes before your dish is scheduled to finish cooking -- the residual heat in the oven will continue to do the work while you save money on the oven's energy costs.

3. Fix Up Your Home

leaky sink faucet

Whether it's a leaky faucet or showerhead, or cracks and gaps in the walls, take the time and money to fix these things up -- the initial cost to get these things repaired won't be anything compared to the heating and cooling costs of shaky walls, or the excess water from faulty water appliances.

4. Wash Laundry With Cold Water, Air Dry When Possible

hanging t-shirts to air dry

Whenever possible, wash your clothes with cold water -- it will generally still do the trick that hot water can do, and it will cost less to use cold water. It's also recommended to do full loads of laundry, so you don't have to run the cost of multiple uses of the washer. Remember that it's summertime -- take advantage of the nice weather and air dry your clothes rather than using a hot dryer machine!

5. Close The Blinds

hand closing blinds

The summer heat won't cook your home's interior if you take precautionary measures -- by choosing the proper blinds and curtains and ensuring they are closed during the day when you're out and about, you reduce the amount of heat entering your home. As such, you won't have to adjust the thermostat or crank the air conditioner for as long.

6. Watch Your Fridge And Freezer Temperatures

fridge open full of food

Opening and closing your fridge and freezer too often can lead throw off the temperatures of these appliances, and they'll have to work that much harder to maintain ideal conditions -- this means a lot more energy consumption. Take the time to properly set the temperature for your fridge and freezer, and be sure to avoid opening them liberally. Also, be sure to keep your fridge well stocked, as an empty fridge requires more power to maintain cold temperatures than a full one.

7. Unplug Appliances Not In Use

phone charger plugged into outlet

Charging appliances, such as laptops and phones, still use energy when they're plugged into the outlets -- for any electronics that are not in use, be sure to unplug them so they don't slowly consume energy.

8. Use LED Light Bulbs

replacing light bulb with LED version

LED light bulbs are known to be as effective as traditional light bulbs while using much less electricity. Try and make LED light bulbs the standard in your home lighting fixtures.

9. Use Smart Tools And Appliances

energy efficient thermostat

Smart tools and appliances have the ability to monitor and control your energy usage. By investing in these products, you can get concrete data about how much power you're using for each specific appliance, and make decisions on where to cut back and save energy. Certain smart tools and appliances can be automated, allowing them to shut off after they've used just the right amount of energy and avoid overusing power.

10. Replace Your Home Filters

man replacing home filters

The filters in your furnace and air conditioner can make or break how much energy you use -- replacing these filters will make your furnace operate more efficiently, and you won't have to keep it running for as long.

11. Keep An Eye On Your Fans

oscillating fan on a table

Fans are a crucial item in the summer, and while the idea of keeping those appliances blasting all day might sound appealing, multiple fans running for hours on an end can slowly rack up your energy bill. Be strategic with which fans you have running at what times, what setting they are at, and make sure to shut them off if you go outside or leave the house for a while.

12. Monitor Your Thermostat

hand adjusting thermostat

Keep a sharp eye on your thermostat during these warm days - while it may seem tempting to crank the thermostat to extremely cold temperatures, it will use up a lot of energy for little effect. Try to keep the thermostat at a comfortable, reasonable temperature. Even a couple of degrees can save noticeable amounts of money on power bills!

13. Task Lighting

table lamp with book and glasses

Rather than overhead lights, try opting for table lamps or track lighting when working in a certain area of your home -- these lights can still offer ample lighting, and they generally don't consume as much energy as overhead or wall lights.

14. Invest In A Microwave

using a microwave

While certain dishes will call for oven-baking, the amount of time and energy used in ovens will eat away at your energy consumption. Try using a microwave more often, as although they still use energy, they can cook many items much quicker, resulting in less overall power consumption.

15. Turn Off The Tap While Brushing Teeth Or Washing Dishes

sink running water

It can seem like an obvious fix, but many people leave the tap running while doing the dishes or brushing their teeth. Once you've wet your toothbrush, shut off the tap until you have to rinse. As for dishes, simply fill your sink with a small amount of soapy water and use that in lieu of a constantly running tap. The amount of energy and water that you'll save will add up, resulting in a much cheaper water bill!

16. Get A Timer For Any Outdoor Lights

an outdoor light on a wall

Rather than having your outdoor lights running all day or all night, set your lights with a timer or photocell so that they can shut off when not in use on their own accord.

17. Install Energy Efficient Windows

men installing pane of window glass

Single-pane windows will allow heat or cold to enter your home more easily. Try installing with stronger, energy efficient windows, or add solar shading to improve function and avoid having to use air conditioners/your thermostat more.

18. Defrost Your Freezer

ice build up in freezer

Your freezer can have ice build up to a quarter of an inch thick -- be sure to defrost your appliances to remove this ice and allow them to function as effectively as possible.

19. Use Your Appliances Outside Of Peak Usage Time

washing machine with clothes in it

Rather than using your dishwasher or laundry machines during the early evening or afternoon, which is peak usage time, try to use them later on in the evening -- this will reduce the strain on the power grid and avoid any potential power problems.

What Is Energy Efficiency?

Energy efficiency is simply the act of using less power to achieve the same desired result or service. To put it simply, it's any action to save on energy consumption. While this often requires spending more money up front (due to installing or buying a new appliance,) the long-term costs and benefits are ultimately a net gain.

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