3 High ROI Summertime Home Energy Saving Tips

by Darwin on July 29, 2009

lightbulb-pictureI had one of those Eureka moments tonight (OK, well, I didn’t run down the street naked like Archimedes, but it was one of “those moments”) when I opened the garage door to get some dog food and the hot air hit me – I thought “Home Energy Savings Tip!”. The house was cool, it was cool outside, but the garage was cooking. It’s been this way for years and I’ve always known that heat must radiate from our garage into the house at night, but I’d never really sought to do anything about it. In our case, it’s especially troublesome, because our bedroom is over the garage. As a result, if we didn’t set the air conditioning to a relatively low level, the bedroom would be cooking at night. This lower setting results in excess energy expenses each month.

We cool 100% of our house all night to accommodate a living space that’s only 10% of the house we’re cooling.

Not only is this an incredible waste of energy, it’s easy to remedy!

Home Energy Savings Tips for Summer

As a student of heat transfer phenomena as a Chemical Engineer back in the day, it’s pretty clear to me that by simply cooling the garage down a bit, that much less heat will continue to radiate into the house each night. The simplest solution is to simply open our garage doors for an hour or so each night when it’s pretty cool outside, then close it up again.

1. By creating a driving force from a hot garage to a cool outdoor environment, much of the heat will transfer out of our house through this free, simple manner, rather than by compensating for it with additional forced air conditioning at night!

Another simple tip is that since our room gets the brunt of the heat and the kids’ rooms are relatively cool already, we should focus on getting more cold air to our room.

2. By using a Register Booster Fan, we drive plenty of cool air to our room, which allows for a warmer setting on the thermostat for the entire house, thus saving plenty of money each summer.

Finally, installing ceiling fans in your bedrooms pays incredible dividends.  While installing one for the first time is not trivial, once you get the hang of it, you can put one in yourself within an hour or two.

3. According to a prominent university-sponsored research study (see Kansas State Fan Study), a ceiling fan can save up to 16% on their cooling bill due t0 the ability to raise the thermostat while enjoying the same “feeling” of coolness as if the temperature setting were lower.

As an example, if your cooling bills add an additional $150/month over a 4 month span each summer,that’s $600 per year spent on air conditioning.  By saving 16% on $600, that’s about $100 per year savings.

For a decent fan in the $100-$200 range, you’re seeing a payback within the first year or two and from there, it’s all annual savings.

What are your favorite Summer Energy Savings Tips?

See also: How to Hedge Your Own Gas Prices this Summer

photo credit

You're Not Following Darwin's RSS? Check out Why You Have to Subscribe to Darwin's Finance!

If you enjoyed this post, you can get free updates through RSS Feed or via Email whenever a new post is published. Rest assured that you can unsubscribe at any time via the automated system and your information will not be sold, archived or utilized for any other "nefarious" purposes.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Brog Z. July 29, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Here are few energy saving tips:

Turn down the temperature to your water heater.
Turn off lights in rooms when you leave them.
Turn down the heat to the house, slightly but not too much, when you leave.
Use ceiling fans in the summer. Figure out which way is best for them to rotate.
Keep your air filters clean.
Leave clothes in the washer for a little while before drying them, so that any excess water can just drip off rather than having to be dried by the drier.
Don’t feel you have to wash all of your clothes so often either. Some clothes need it after every wearing, but consider some that might not. Keep the house cooler at night, and use another blanket or cover. Consider how to more efficiently take a shower, so that you aren’t in there quite as long.


Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>