Tips for Summer Savings

August 17, 2016

Still struggling to fall asleep with sweat trickling down your neck? Does the heat wake you up at night? Summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean the warm temperatures are gone just yet. It’s also never too late start getting the comfort you deserve.

Below are some of the best ways to save on energy during the end of a New England summer.

1. Replace your old air conditioning unit with a high-efficiency model. If your central air conditioner is 12-15 years old or older, it’s likely time to upgrade to a new system. When a central air conditioning system is installed correctly and the ducts are properly sealed, it provides proper airflow and a significantly more efficient cooling system. Additionally, cooling can be controlled through a programmable or wireless thermostat. As a result, you can more effectively monitor your cooling energy and adjust your thermostat to your household’s schedule, reducing energy costs.

Make sure to consider Mass Save’s financial incentive when you’re purchasing a new central air conditioning system. You could earn up to $250 in rebates for installing an efficient ducted central air conditioning unit.

2. Switch to ENERGY STAR® certified LED light bulbs. Although light bulbs may not be the first thing to come to mind while considering cooling techniques, they actually can play a role in producing undesirable heat. Many of us do not know that halogen lamps and incandescent light bulbs can produce a larger amount of excess heat. By replacing these lights with LED bulbs, you can reduce these heat emissions induced by your lighting by 70-90%.

For example, an incandescent bulb may use 60 watts of energy at an annual operating cost of $10.51, but to provide the same amount of light an LED bulb only uses 10 watts of energy at an annual operating cost of $1.75. By investing in a $9 LED bulb instead of a $0.50 incandescent bulb, you could save up to $190 in lifetime operating costs.

3. Consider investing in a dehumidifier. With hot summer weather comes sticky, summer humidity. Too much humidity in your home can bring unwanted mold and mildew into your family’s living spaces. Along with the irritation of allergies, musty odors, and potential health risks, such growth can cause costly damages to the structure of your home and it’s interior. Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air and ultimately decrease the overall humidity level within your home, reducing the pricey and damaging effects of excess humidity.

Take advantage of our $30 rebate on an ENERGY STAR® certified dehumidifier, which uses 15% less energy to remove the same amount of moisture as a similar sized conventional model. It is important to select a model that is appropriately sized for the space and moisture level of the room it will serve. Carefully choosing a properly sized ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier will help you maximize on savings and could save you more than $175 in energy costs over the life of the dehumidifier.

4. Unplug Electronics. If you’re going away for a week at the end of this summer, or even just the weekend, making sure that your electronics are unplugged can help provide a boost in savings, lowering your home’s overall energy bill. Make sure that chargers, TVs, computers and all kitchen appliances are unplugged before you head out.

These so-called “energy vampires,” such as the seemingly innocuous cell phone charger, for example, can be responsible for adding 10 percent or more to your monthly utility bill. With the average American household owning 25 consumer electronic devices, you can see how these can translate into a significant chunk of your energy bill. To make dealing with these "energy vampires" easier, consider purchasing an advanced power strip, which can automatically cut power to some devices if you're not using them.

5. Cool the Pool.  The summer season is almost over and while you might be able to squeeze a few more weeks of fun from your home’s pool, turning the heat down and letting the hot August sun provide the primary source of warmth can curb spending in the final days of summer. Consider upgrading to an ENERGY STAR certified pool pump, which adjusts the pump speed to match the task - for example, slower speeds for filtration, higher speeds for cleaning. You could save more than $350 per year in energy costs.

For more information and to find a list of certified models, visit the ENERGY STAR website.

The scorching summer heat doesn’t have to melt your bank account away. Invest in the most efficient cooling systems, light fixtures, and dehumidifiers to maintain the comfort of your home, while racking up summer savings. Thinking creatively about ways to start using less energy for cooling your home will help make this summer a more efficient and cost-effective season for your family.

Be sure to check out more articles on Mass Save to learn about ways to save energy and money on your home year-round.

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