They say that in summertime, the living is easy. With barbecues, swimming pools, spending more time outdoors, what could be bad? Though we may feel more relaxed this time of year, our outdoor energy use may still be higher than we think.
Summertime is too short to be worrying about energy costs. So what can you do to reduce energy use during the summertime? Take a look at these backyard energy saving tips from Constellation Energy:
Backyard Energy Saving Tips
Get outside! Simply spending more of your day outdoors and unplugged can help limit your energy usage. Put down the screens and play!
Air dry. Let the sun dry your clothes and wet towels rather than the clothes dryer.
Install outdoor solar lighting. One of the best backyard energy saving tips is to use the sun! Sunlight is free, so let the sun’s rays light up your yard all day long.
Be efficient. If solar lighting is not for you, install energy-efficient lighting. Only 10-15% of the electricity from incandescent lights results in light; the rest is turned into heat. Who needs more heat when it’s already hot outside?
Make the switch to ENERGY STAR® outdoor appliances. They use less energy and help the environment as well.
Create shade. Install awnings on windows to help keep the sun’s rays at bay. Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65% on South-facing windows and 77% on West-facing windows. Energy.gov recommends choosing material that is opaque and tightly woven — ideally, light-colored — to get the best protection from the sun’s rays.
Hang it up. Install a roof overhang, which works best as a summer energy conservation option if it helps shade South-facing windows. Properly-installed overhangs should still allow sunlight to filter through the windows in winter.
Power down. When you head outdoors, be sure to turn off the lights and other power sources in your home. Unplug electronic devices, appliances, and chargers too.
Don’t cook! Skip the hot meal and bring out a picnic-style lunch or dinner instead.
Time it right. Change the timers on your outdoor lighting so that they are set to go on only once it is dark outside, and override them when the lights don’t need to be on at all.
Warm it up. Turn down the air conditioning when you are not in the house. There’s really no need to keep your home super cool when you aren’t even there.
Stay out late. When the sun goes down, stay outside with those solar lights, or make an outdoor fire pit or fireplace the focal point of family time for your summer evenings.
Backyard Swimming Pool Energy Savings Tips
Summer can also be a time of increased energy expenses for swimming pool owners. Constellation Energy created an extensive list of this list of backyard swimming pool energy savings tips.
Have an energy-efficient pool pump. Using a smaller, higher efficiency pump and operating it less frequently can help lower pool energy costs. A .75 horsepower or smaller pump is typically sufficient for most residential pools.
Decrease the pool circulation system’s hydraulic resistance, which can reduce the pump’s electricity needs by up to 40%.
Don’t operate the pumps longer than needed. Continued circulation of the water is apparently not necessary to keep the chemicals mixed; circulating the water while the chemicals are added should be sufficient for keeping them mixed. Installing a timer can also help control an energy-efficient pool pump’s cycling.
Reduce filtration time. Energy.gov recommends a filtration time of six hours daily. If the water appears dirty, increase that time in half-hour increments until you get the results you want.
Keep the drains clean. Energy.gov also suggests keeping intake grates clear of debris since clogged drains require pumps to work harder, which in turn requires more energy.
Watch the water temperature. Turn down the temperature or turn the heater off when the pool is not in use. SwimmingPool.com suggests that each degree rise in temperature increase energy costs by 10-30%, depending on your location.
Cover it up. Use a pool cover when the pool is not in use.
Use the right type of water heater for you. When comparing pool heater options, it’s important to keep several factors in mind, such as: pool size, length of your swimming season, average regional temperatures, and the desired pool temperature. To find out more about analyzing energy efficient pool heaters, solar pool heaters, gas heaters, and electric pool heaters, go to: http://www.constellation.com/energy-101/energy-savings-tips/home-energy-savings-tips.html.
Relax outdoors this summer, and reduce your energy use too with these backyard energy saving tips. Summer is too short to worry about energy costs. Enjoy the easy living instead.
Disclosure: For more energy-saving tips and tricks, go to http://www.constellation.com/energy-101/energy-savings-tips/home-energy-savings-tips.html. Thank you to Constellation Energy for sponsoring this post.
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