How to Lower Your Utility Bills this Summer
Minnesota homeowners, beware. As summer approaches and the temperature rises, your utility bills are about to do the same. There are plenty of simple changes you can make that will reduce your monthly utility bills without sacrificing comfort. So before you crank up the AC, check out our top energy-efficient tips and use those utility bills savings on a summer vacation instead!
Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you tend to be lazy with thermostats, setting it to one temperature and then forgetting about it, you’re not alone. But to keep your power costs low this summer, you shouldn’t be cranking the AC at all hours. At the very least, you should lower the temperature at night and set your thermostat a bit higher during the day. For every degree higher you set your thermostat over 78 degrees in the summer, you could cut down your home energy bill by 6-8%.
But if you’re not around to change the setting, or if you’re just simply forgetful, you should install a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature of your home even when you’re not there.
Service Your HVAC and Change Air Filters
Before the summer starts, have your HVAC serviced by a specialist, since almost half of your utility bill is from cooling your home through your HVAC.
After all, there’s nothing worse than finding out your AC is broken in the middle of summer. To avoid this headache, have your HVAC specialist test all components of your system (air conditioner, vents, and ducts) to ensure it’s working properly. They will also check fluid levels, lubricate the gears, and test the accuracy of the thermostat for optimal HVAC use. This precautionary step—in addition to changing your filters regularly—will ensure your AC unit works efficiently all summer long.
Use Auto-turn Off Stations
Did you know that chargers can suck up nearly 8% of a home’s total power when they aren’t plugged in and being used? Get rid of these energy vampires by investing in a smart charging station that automatically turns off when your devices are done charging. This small change can save up to $180 a year on your energy bill!
Keep Windows and Doors Tightly Shut
The last thing you want on a hot day is for the cool air from your air conditioner to escape through the gaps in your windows and doors. According to EnergyStar.gov, fixing a drafty home can save you as much as 10% on your energy bill, so be sure to block gaps around windows and door frames with weather strips or draft guards, and always keep your windows and doors tightly shut.
Water in the Morning and Evening
During the hottest hours of the day, any water you use in your garden quickly evaporates from the surface without doing any good for your lawn or plants. To avoid water waste (and a higher water bill), water your garden and lawn during the cooler hours of the early morning or after the sun has gone down, and always water near the base of the plant so it gets straight to the roots. Any water on the leaves and foliage will just go to waste.
Lower Temperature of Hot Water Heater
Most people keep their hot water heaters much hotter than necessary to perform basic functions. Lowering the temperature to 115 degrees Fahrenheit can cut down your energy bill annually, and chances are that you probably won’t even notice the difference. Besides, cooler showers in the summer don’t just mean less energy—they feel more refreshing, too!
Invest in Energy-star Appliances
Appliances use a lot of energy, and older ones tend to be a real drain. For example, replacing a pre-1994 clothes washer will save you as much as $110 a year. An easy way to check the energy-efficiency is to look for the Energy Star logo. For appliances to be Energy Star certified, they must pass a series of lab and functionality tests to determine their overall efficiency. The more appliances you have with the Energy Star seal, the better. So, if you’re planning on investing in a new washing machine or refrigerator this summer, be sure to check for the Energy Star logo before purchasing.
Buy an Energy-Efficient Twin Cities’ Home
As you can see, there are a number of ways to save money on utility bills as the summer months start to heat up. Another strategy is to buy a home that already features a number of the energy-efficient upgrades we’ve mentioned today!
Here’s a look at a few Twin Cities’ homes for sale, all of which describe their energy-efficient features as one of the primary selling points.
4880 Bassett Creek Drive, Golden Valley, MN
Asking Price: $324,900
Mid Century Modern in prime Golden Valley location. Meticulously maintained and thoughtfully updated. To fully understand the beauty and emotion that this special home evokes you will need to visit it in person. The natural light shines through this house whether it cloudy or sunny. The exterior siding, windows and roof have been done with extreme attention to energy efficiency. This home will bring out the artist, musician, and inner zen of everyone who experiences it. View listing.
14810 McGinty Rd. W, Minnetonka, MN
Asking Price: $487,900
Unique opportunity to own an all concrete masonry home just minutes from downtown Wayzata! The all concrete construction provides tremendous energy efficiency & a quiet interior, all while the concrete roof is built to last 100 years! The private master suite has a balcony that opens up to the four season porch on the main level. The backyard has a large deck & has ample privacy with a wooded view. This estate has lush landscaping, an updated sidewalk and private paver patio. This home is a 10! View listing.
5841 Abbott Ave S, Edina, MN
Asking Price: $835,000
Completed New Construction with 3 car garage. Home was built to be extremely energy efficient, with insulated garage slab & basement. Open layout floorplan, with high end finishes and appliances throughout the home. Wet bar in basement. Multi-zone heating. Tesla electric outlet in garage. Lawn sprinkler system. This home is a MUST SEE. View listing.
Interested in buying an energy saving home of your own? You’ll be thrilled to see how many energy-efficient Twin Cities homes for sale are on the market right now. Contact our friends over at MN Realty Guide for a no-obligation tour of one of these homes — or a host of others!
Source: MN Home Living