Top Tips to Reduce Summer Energy Bills

Person changing the temperature on a thermostat

When the dog days of summer meander in, it can get sweltering in both the city and the country. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Dog Days of Summer run from July 3 through August 11, coinciding with the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. Without question, those are some of the warmest days of the year, requiring your home’s a/c to run overtime to keep things cool and to keep the occupants comfortable.

You can help reduce summer energy bills during the hottest days of the year with a few simple tips.

  1. Choose a higher thermostat temp: A consistent 78 degrees is the suggested temp if you want to conserve energy during the summer. If you have others in your space who prefer it cooler, put additional fans in their area. If you are going to be gone for extended periods and are not leaving pets in the space, move the thermostat higher for the duration of your absence.
  2.  Cover your windows: Keep your blinds closed and your shades drawn during the hottest part of the day. You may even want to consider reflective or room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from baking your home.
  3. Cook outside:  It doesn’t take long for a stove or oven to heat up the home. Every chance you get, grill outside or make dinners ahead of time for microwaving. It’s also a great time of year for chilled soups and fresh salads.
  4. Change the filters: Increasing your a/c efficiency keeps things cooler and extends the life of your unit. Check it monthly and change it if in doubt.
  5. Close off rooms: If you have rooms in a house that are not occupied or don’t have items that require a consistent heated/cooled temp, then close the vents. The same goes for fans that may be in running in rooms with no occupants. Turn them off and save energy.

It sometime feels hard to stay cool during the hottest months of the year, but with a little planning you can cut the energy costs. Stay cool! And if you need help making a move during these hot Summer days, give Zippy Shell a call or go online for a free quote today!

5 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Summer

old fashioned water pump

In the high heat of the summer, water can become a luxury, and it is tempting to overuse it when we have so much access to it. Use these tips to help save your wallet as well as the environment this summer.

  1. Be precise with your watering

When watering your yard or plants, water them when the sun is not strong, such as in the morning or the evening. This will prevent water loss from evaporation. If using an automatic sprinkler system, make sure you are only watering your yard and not the sidewalk or driveway to avoid wasting water.

2. Check for leaks

Leaks can cause gallons of water to be wasted if you don’t catch them. Test to make sure your toilet isn’t leaking by putting a drop of food coloring into the tank, then see if color appears in the bowl. If it does, there is a leak. Double-check that none of your sinks are leaking from the pipes below them onto the cabinets or floor too. These are leaks that can be easily fixed if you take five minutes to check.

3. Don’t hand wash

Washing anything by hand always ends up using more water than if you had used a larger water appliance. This applies to scenarios such as using your dishwasher or going to a car wash instead of hand washing your dishes or car.

4. Turn off wasted water

Make sure to turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, even if you tell yourself this is just going to be a quick brush. The water will add up. On a larger scale, turn off the showerhead while you are soaping or shaving.

5. Use water buckets

In the shower you can collect runoff water that would otherwise be drained and put it to use in your home for activities such as watering your plants. Outside, you can also use a rain bucket to collect rain water. This can also be used to water your plants and prevent runoff from polluting our local rivers.

8 Tips to Save Water in Your Home

Save money and energy by limiting your water consumption, all while helping out the environment!

  1. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.

It may not seem like a long period of time for the water to be running while brushing your teeth, but if you continue to have it running every time you brush your teeth, this adds up to a lot of wasted water.

  1. Defrost naturally

Defrost your frozen items by moving them into your fridge or let them sit out for a couple hours to naturally defrost instead of running them under water.

  1. Don’t use your toilet as a trashcan

It can be tempting sometimes to just throw your trash into the toilet and flush it.  This is a huge waste of water as well as unsafe for where the trash will end up after being flushed.

  1. Limit your shower time

Every once in a while everyone needs a long relaxing shower, but often try to limit the time you spend in the shower.

  1. Reuse leftover drinking water

Instead of dumping out the last little bit of water left in your cups after a meal, put all of the water into a pitcher.  Use this leftover water to water your plants or boil it next time you are cooking.

  1. Use your dishwasher when you can

If you don’t have to hand-wash your dishes, don’t.  Dishwashers use significantly less water by washing multiple dishes at once.

  1. Compost

Instead of using your garbage disposal, try composting your trash.  This limits the water used to flush your food down the drain.

  1. Strategically time when you water your lawn

Try to water your lawn when it is cooler outside, so in the morning or evening.  This will prevent water loss due to evaporation.  Also, don’t water your lawn when it is windy out so you don’t lose water from it being blown away.