Summer energy efficiency tips

Save on your electric bill this summer with these energy-saving tips!

Posted by Lauren Dublin on June 22, 2022

Many Minnesotans are thrilled when the weather warms up- it’s finally the season for cabins, boats, hiking, and backyard grilling. But even though temperatures are rising, your electric bill doesn’t have to! Here are some energy-saving tips for your home this summer, so you can enjoy the weather and your wallet.

  1. Check your AC and air filter. Keeping appliances running efficiently is one of the key ways to reduce your energy bills. A major factor in your energy bill total over the summer is your AC unit, but one quick efficiency solution is to make sure your air filter is clean. Filters allow air to flow through them while keeping dirt, pet hair, and other grime out of your HVAC system. These are usually found behind the air intake vent somewhere in your house, and should be changed every one to three months. Plus, you can add your air conditioner to your WH Appliance Repair program to make sure if it breaks, your repair costs are covered. Add an annual preventative maintenance air conditioner tune up to your package to make sure it’s running at maximum efficiency!
  2. Adjust the thermostat. According to the US Department of Energy, the best way to minimize utility costs while still staying cool is keeping your house warm during the day when nobody is home and then setting the thermostat as high as comfortably possible when you are. If you need a programmable thermostat, you can find several options at the Energywise store.
  3. Close the blinds. Sunlight is great after a long Minnesota winter, but consider closing the shades, especially on south-facing windows, during the hottest part of the day from noon to about 4 p.m. Radiant heat won’t warm up your interior, so your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the space, saving you money! The Department of Energy’s webpage about energy-efficient window coverings shares that “studies demonstrate that medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%.”
  4. Avoid the oven. Get out the grill, or check out these no bake meal ideas from Taste of Home. If you use the oven, plan ahead and put foods that can be cooked at the same temperature in together, so you can turn the oven off sooner! Also, avoid opening the door as much as possible; your oven can lose up to 25 degrees of internal temperature, meaning you’ll have to keep it on longer to cook your dinner all the way through, heating your house up all the while!
  5. Water smart- Water your garden and lawn in the morning, allowing plants time to absorb the water before the sun bakes it off. This also gives them the moisture needed to withstand the heat during the day. Watering at noon is often said to burn plants, but really just causes water to evaporate too quickly to do your plants much good! And according to Southern Living magazine, watering at night can allow water to gather in the soil since there’s no sun to absorb the extra moisture, leading to rot! 
  6. Remember fans cool people, not spaces. Fans make you feel cooler through the wind chill effect, moving air over your skin to more quickly evaporate sweat. Simply swirling air around the room can’t lower the temperature like an AC unit can, so turn those fans off when you leave the room!
  7. Join our energy-savings programs. WH offers several energy-savings programs for members, including home cooling and for electric vehicles. Learn more about our Energy Saving programs on our website or give our Member Services Representatives a call at (763) 477-3000.

We hope these tips help keep you cool this summer!

Lauren Dublin

Lauren Dublin

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