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With winter well behind us, it’s time we thought we’d look at the most useful home energy saving tips for summer.
Please follow our simple home energy saving tips for summer now and ensure you are keeping your energy bills as low as you can. Use your washing line – Good Weather means clothes will dry quicker, and no need for expensive to run tumble dryers or radiators.
Your washing machine – This is probably one of the most used appliances in your home; it is also one of the most expensive to run too.
Replacing air conditioning filters – If you have an air conditioning system in your home, make sure the filters are changed this summer and maintained, to maximise its efficiency. Bleed your radiators – Air pockets can develop within your radiator and essentially reduce its efficiency. Switch the power off – Look around your home, how many appliances or electrical devices are left on standby?
Draught proofing – If you are not DIY oriented, get a professional in to ensure that all gaps in your homes doors, windows, attic hatches & ceilings are all sealed, so the heat you have in your home is not escaping. Control your heating – Did you know that your heating can account for as much as 60% of your home’s energy use?
Using your dishwasher – Did you know that your dishwasher uses less water than washing your pots by hand.
Our commitment to qualityAt CosiHomes, we are working tirelessly towards a sustainable Ireland and as members of the Enprova Better Energy Programme; we are committed to reducing Ireland’s energy usage. We are an SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) registered contractor and all our products and systems are approved and audited by NSAI.
We have also been awarded ISO 9001 for quality management systems, ISO 14001 for environmental management and ISO 18001 for healthy and safety management. So you busted your butt all summer by dressing as close to naked as possible just to save a couple bucks on AC and even through December you told your family to bundle up so you could keep the heat off as long as possible. There are really two ways to look at energy savings: You can either do it all from the start and really ensure everything is done, or you can do small things as time goes by. If you are currently renting a house or are about to enter the home buying process a great option for both short and long term savings is the FHA Green 203k loan. If you have already been in your current home for a while there are a couple different options. In our household in Toronto, where summers are hot and muggy, we have learned to survive without any air conditioning, thanks to some home energy upgrades and some daily rituals around getting heat out of the house at night, and keeping it out during the day. If you get rid of indoor heat sources, such as incandescent lights and electric appliances, you’ll stay cooler and have less need to run your air conditioner.
Energy used outside the house in the summer is also worth discussing, since it is part of your energy bill.
Finally, I give some tips for reducing your dependence on air conditioning, and using the system you have more efficiently.
We have an old, inefficient central air conditioner, but we never used it much, and haven’t at all in the past two summers. Get the hot air out at night: Every evening we open the downstairs windows, and use powerful window fans in upstairs windows to suck large volumes of hot air out of the top floor of the house. Seal the cool overnight air in: Every morning we stop the window fans and close the windows to seal the cool night air inside during the day. If you use a bread maker, plug it in outside in a protected area (like a veranda or porch for example) so you can bake bread without baking your house.
Follow my Energy efficient dehumidifiers tips to reduce home humidity levels, and to choose the right dehumidifier. Dishwashers use hot water, and most energy efficient models heat the water hotter before washing. If you don’t mind the odd drop of water in an overturned coffee cup, run your dishwasher at night, starting it when you go to bed, or using its delayed start feature. Other phantom loads that both consume electricity and warm your home include stereos, electronic equipment, computers and peripherals, and even your thermostat (if you aren’t using central air). If you have an old beer fridge or other old second refrigerator, unplug it, at least for the summer.
Take advantage of natural shade by planting deciduous trees on sun-facing areas of your yard. If you’re at all handy with a sewing machine you can make them for just the price of the fabric and thread, and a little hardware available from most building centers.
You can also install energy saving window films or coatings directly on your windows, or buy windows with low-E coatings, to cut down on infrared light, which reduces heat production in your home. Most house roofs are giant heat absorbers that soak up sunlight all day and convert it into attic heat. You can also add ventilating baffles from your soffits, up through your rafters, to the attic space above the level of any insulation.
You can supplement natural ventilation with a switch- or thermostat-controlled exhaust fan mounted to an outside wall in your attic. If your shingles are in good shape, you can lighten them up by using a reflective shingle paint, which will not only reflect all that light away from your roof and keep you cooler, but will make your shingles last longer.
Your rooftop garden should be designed and installed by a professional green roof installer to avoid causing structural damage to your house or injury to residents or neighbors. If you must have outdoor lighting, use lights with motion sensors, or ones with a low light setting. Better yet, get rid of your lawn and plant ground covers, or put in an ornamental or vegetable garden. Not only do gardens mean less mowing (and less energy waste), they keep the ground cooler around your house, so your house stays cooler too.
You might think you can’t live without air conditioning, depending on your local climate and your own tolerance for heat.
You can also purchase an energy saving programmable register such as the one pictured at right, also available in other heating register sizes. A whole house fan draws hot air out of your home and draws cool air in through the windows. A whole house fan can save up to 5% on your summer electricity bill, weather you use air conditioning or not. It’s more efficient to draw cool air into your home using natural circulation or window fans, than to use an air conditioner to suck the heat out of your house into the cool night air. For every degree Fahrenheit you raise your thermostat, you save 6% in air conditioning costs. Install a programmable thermostat on your central air, and set the temperature higher at times when you’re regularly away, such as on weekdays or weekday working hours. For window or other room air conditioners, you can put them on a 24-hour timer so that they shut off at times when you tend to be away, such as work hours.
If the exposed ductwork is damaged, there’s a good chance that the ductwork inside walls and floors is damaged too.


As you know, your home is often the most important and also most expensive asset in your lives; so saving on energy bills is something we should all be looking to do all year round. Try to keep all your loads as full as possible to maximise its usage; along with this try to keep it below 30 when in use. The way to check whether or not your radiators need bleeding is simple; if they’re hot at the top and cold at the bottom this job needs to be done. Installing them in the rooms that get the most use is a good idea; both these lighting options use around a quarter of the energy a traditional one would use. Studies show that on average a household loses between €80 and €150 a year through doing so. One thing you need to remember is to only set your dishwasher to run when you have a full load.
You arent a cheapskate necessarily, the fact is that energy costs have been soaring for the past ten years and people in the state of Michigan and other (hot summers, cold winters) have been doing everything they can to defray energy bills. This energy efficient mortgage product lets you buy a home at a low price and then invest upto $30,000 for energy efficient improvements like new insulation, new furnace, solar panels, energy saving appliances, and much more. There are many ways to save on daily energy costs and we’ve outlined our favorites below! So to start with, I have a tip on how we stay comfortable and cool, without spending a cent on air conditioning.
If you keep the outside heat outside by using outdoor shade, window coverings, and better insulation and sealing, the heat won’t sneak in and overwhelm you or your air conditioner.
That’s why many families escape to cottages further north for much of July and August.
By keeping all windows and doors shut, we keep hot, humid outdoor air from entering the house.
One visitor even complained that we kept the house too cold and asked us to turn off the air conditioning! Because fans use so little energy, and we don’t need as much lighting during long summer days, our summer electricity use is no higher than during the rest of the year. Not only will you save on lighting costs, but incandescent and halogen bulbs convert most of their energy to heat, so they make your air conditioner work even harder.
The more energy you use to cook indoors, the hotter your house gets and the more work your AC has to do to cool the indoor air.
Buy a coffee maker that comes with a thermos, or pour the coffee into a thermos once it’s brewed. If you’re a tea drinker, make sun tea by placing water and some tea bags (black tea or herbal) into a glass jar. So make sure you only run full loads, and don’t use the sanitizer or sterilizer setting. The dishwasher will release its heat during the night when your windows are open and hot air can escape, and you’ll be using off-peak electricity. If you haven’t already done so, turn your hot water heater down from its factory setting. Old fridges can use up to three times more electricity than the newest models, and heat the house that much more. The leaves shade your house in hot weather, and when the leaves drop in the fall, you get sunlight to help heat your home.
Make use of curtains, shutters, blinds, and awnings to keep sunlight from turning into indoor heat. This book gets great reviews from customers and is written in clear prose with excellent illustrations. These coatings work both ways: they keep heat outside in the summer, and keep heat inside in the winter. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a well-insulated, well-sealed house if you want to survive a hot summer without blowing your energy budget. Fans use very little electricity, and by drawing the hot air out quickly, they reduce the amount of heat your attic contributes to indoor temperatures. Rooftop gardens or green roofs provide a lot of insulation in both winter and summer, up to an insulation factor of R-60. If you have blown-in insulation, climb into the attic every couple of years and rake it level to increase its insulating effect. You can buy aluminum-coated, insulated materials such as Reflectix to attach to the rafters under your roof.
Entire cities have sprung up in the southern US thanks to the spread of air conditioners; such cities are not livable without it. The more time you spend in air conditioned buildings or cars outside your home, the more difficult it is for your body to acclimatize to a home where the air conditioning is turned off or down. These vents are battery powered and have a 7-day 24 hour program; you set them to open or shut the vent at specific times.
Dress as lightly as you can, so you don’t overheat and require a lower indoor temperature. It cools me down, especially when the ceiling fan is blowing down on me, and evaporating the water. Ceiling and room fans are great for keeping you cool both in bedrooms as you sleep, and in living areas as you move about. If you have only a month or two of hot weather, move your bedroom or home office to the cool basement. Whole house attic fans draw large volumes of air up out of your house and into the attic space. Although the hot air it draws out goes into your attic, that air is still cooler than what’s in the attic in the first place. Turn of the air conditioner and open your windows, whenever it’s cooler outside than inside.
For these summer energy saving tips, let’s focus on some easy things you can do to get better mileage out of your air conditioner. If you leave your house for more than 24 hours, there is no point in keeping the house cool while you’re gone.
If you come home and find the house too hot, don’t try to cool the house faster by setting the thermostat really low. If you have central air, have your unit serviced at the start of each cooling season, or perhaps even twice a year if you live in a hot climate where air conditioning is run year round. If your condenser unit is exposed to sunlight, plant shrubs around it, but keep enough free space around it to maintain good air circulation. If your unit is located in an enclosed or partially enclosed space (for example under a porch), you’ll save a lot on air conditioning costs if you hire an HVAC company to move it to a more energy efficient location. It’s tempting on the first hot day of summer to run off to the building center and buy that $200 window AC unit. You really don’t make the neighborhood any cooler when you let cold air escape from your house.


If you have ductwork running through your attic for your air conditioning, hot attic air will push heat into the ductwork, which won’t do much to cool your upstairs. On average those who buy green from the start have recouped the $30,000 in less then 10 years. I’ll also tell you how to keep your roof and attic from heating your house from above. And it’s why most of my neighbors run their central air conditioners for two months straight. This will save you money if you are billed on a time-of-use plan, and it may reduce the amount of CO2 emissions you are responsible for, as off-peak electricity in many regions tends to have a lower proportion of coal generation than peak electricity. If you don’t like the rough feeling of air-dried towels, you can always partially dry them on a clothesline, then finish them off in the electric or gas dryer.
It might make you feel cooler, but the refrigerator has to work harder to expel all the heat that creeps in. Well treed neighborhoods are typically up to 3C (6F) cooler than treeless neighborhoods in the summer.
Look for energy efficient window coverings that have bright surfaces so that they reflect more light outside – but choose ones that block the light out too. The better insulated and weatherized your house is, the easier it is to keep the house cool with free, passive techniques like the summer energy saving tips I suggest, and the less you’ll spend on electricity if you do use air conditioning.
By installing attic vents near the bottom and top of your roof, you allow natural convection to draw hot air out the top vents, which draws cooler air in the bottom vents. The darker the shingles, the more sunlight gets converted into heat, which travels through the roof into your attic. You staple the material between rafters, leaving an opening at the top and bottom to allow good airflow.
Sunlight passes through the blanket and is converted to heat, but heat doesn’t escape through the blanket as quickly as through an uncovered pool. But in less extreme climates, air conditioning is not essential, at least not all the time. Using such a vent you could, for example, ensure cool air to a bedroom at night when the occupant is sleeping, but turn the AC to the room off during the day. They keep air circulating, which helps the sweat on your body evaporate and cools you down. Since attic heat build-up is a major source of heat entering upstairs rooms, you’ll keep those rooms cooler. If you have to sleep with more than a sheet on top of you, and the air conditioner is running, you should be able to raise the temperature and toss off the covers.
It will only take an hour or two to get down to a comfortable temperature, especially since, while you were gone, little heat was produced from cooking and other activities inside the house.
Just remember to reprogram it again when you get back, or you’ll heat up 7 days later!
The house will still cool at the same rate, but you’ll forget what you did, and wake up freezing a few hours later.
You should also change the air filter on a forced air unit whenever required – typically once a month for the cheap square filters, once or twice a year for high-end filters like the Aprilaire filter we use.
Firstly many homeowners are under the misconception that leaving your heating on throughout the day is cheaper; this is simply not true, using your heating when needed is the best way to save. Since many people do major improvements when they first move in anyways the green 203k really just forces you to make the right changes! And because we have extensively insulated and air-sealed our home in order to keep our house warm in winter, our house stays cool longer in the summer. See my pages on Energy saving washers and Energy efficient dryers for more energy saving laundry tips.
Some of them use electricity even when nothing’s attached to them, and they produce heat when the consume power. A watering system keeps the soil moist, and the evaporation from the soil helps cool the roof. If your attic has bat insulation between the joists, the bats should be at least R-36; higher than that is even better. The cover also keeps leaf litter and other detritus from falling into your pool, and cuts down on algae growth, so you may be able to run your filter less. It’s a terrible waste to keep a room cool when no one is benefiting from the cooling. There’s nothing wrong with sweat in itself, just make sure you stay hydrated, and shower before that date or job interview!
The white noise of a fan can also make it easier to sleep at night, even when it’s uncomfortably hot.
We have our home office, home entertainment center, and a spare bed in our basement; we sleep there on the two or three horribly hot Toronto nights each summer. Even worse, if you leave the house and forget you’ve set it really low, you could be running the AC continuously for hours or days. So when a neighbor knocks on your door to chat, don’t stand in the doorway, step outside or invite them in. Also if you lower your thermostat by 1°C could save you anywhere up to €100 or more per year. See my Energy saving window coverings page for lots of tips on saving energy with blinds, shades, curtains and awnings.
We try not to turn on lights, andwe’ve switched most of our lights from heat-producing incandescent or halogen to energy saving CFLs. Remove the tea bags, cool overnight outdoors (so you don’t bring that heat inside!), then refrigerate in the morning. Better yet, install a tankless water heater (also called a forever water heater), which uses less energy and releases less heat into your home. If the exposed ductwork shows signs of major deterioration, don’t just tape it together.
We avoid opening the refrigerator wherever possible, since this produces heat inside your house. While these materials can reduce your cooling costs, they also cut the amount of heat entering your house in cold weather when you actually want it.
I work in a very cool office building, and stepping outside after work can be like walking into a furnace.
But after my hour-long bike ride home, with the natural air conditioning of a 20-mile-an-hour wind, my naturally cooled house feels perfectly comfortable. So cutting your dehumidifier use not only saves the electricity used to run the dehumidifier, it reduces the amount of heat produced inside your home.



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