In today’s technology-driven age, it’s becoming increasingly easy to find ways to live more efficiently. We have apps that track our steps and make sure we get enough exercise. Other apps remind us to stretch and drink water, and others still alert us to meetings, phone calls, and mindfulness practices. It seems like there’s an app for everything these days. But where are the apps for making our homes more energy-efficient in the summer?

In some areas, electric bills in the summer months might go up by a hundred dollars or more. More people are using electricity, pool pumps are running, and air conditioners are on full blast. There may not be an app for that, but there are plenty of ways to make your home more energy-efficient. Most of these strategies are low-cost or free, but some will require an upfront investment that will more than pay off in the months to come.

Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

Buy heavier drapes for the windows

This energy efficiency tip is a highly versatile one since it can be used during the summer and winter. Heavier drapes will keep your heat in when it’s cold outside, but they’ll also increase the impact of your air conditioner in the middle of July. Without the sun baking you through the windows, you’ll feel cooler, and your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard. This will save you on utility costs and maintenance costs from an overworked air conditioner.

Consider installing a programmable thermostat

According to a spokeswoman for the Alliance to Save Energy, a programmable thermostat can save you up to 10% each year on cooling and heating costs. Even adjusting it by a few degrees will help you save on energy. And it’ll help a lot if you adjust it even more before you leave for work or go to sleep. Many people think that it needs to be set a lot lower than it really does. A few degrees shouldn’t make too much of a difference in your comfort level, but they can make a huge difference in your home’s energy efficiency levels in the summer.

Use fans when you can

Some summer days are scorchers while others are warm but still pleasant. On milder days, make use of ceiling and portable fans and save the air conditioner for those mid-July scorchers. Window and ceiling fans don’t use nearly as much electricity and when they’re put in the right places, they can make your home feel much more comfortable. You can also increase your comfort when the air conditioner is off by drinking frozen or icy drinks, taking a fast and cold shower, or pressing a cold compress on your neck.

Seal the windows

This is an easy one - all it takes is some caulk to fill in the cracks, or weatherstripping to seal the air leaks around windows and doors. You’d be surprised to learn how much of your heat and air conditioning are slipping right through these cracks. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to make your home more energy efficient in the summer. Plus, once this is done, you can tackle another affordable and fun DIY spring project that you can do over the weekend. 

Make use of natural lighting

One of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient is to use your lights less frequently. During summer days, it should be easy to turn off the lights and make use of the natural lighting in your home. Open the windows and blinds for better lighting and to let a natural breeze cool your home. Both of these strategies will work wonders for your home’s energy efficiency. And while you’re working on lighting, consider replacing your light bulbs with LED ones – they’ll last for years and use far less energy.

Unplug anything that isn’t in use

Like the first task on the list, this is one that you can use all year long. Most people don’t realize that many appliances consume energy even when they’re turned off. That means that anything that’s plugged in even though set to “off” 24 hours per day is still consuming energy 24 hours per day. Chargers that aren’t in use, coffee makers that aren’t actively brewing, and other appliances that aren’t in use can all be unplugged to conserve energy.