Welcome to the first day of summer!
Mother Nature seems to have had this date on her calendar too, because it sure is getting hot and steamy in South Carolina this week. With temperatures predicted to reach into the 90s, we all need to stay safe and healthy by drinking plenty of water, slathering on the sunscreen, protecting our faces by wearing ball caps or beach hats, and staying indoors if we’re feeling too hot.
These sweltering summer months can challenge not only on your health, but also on your utility bills. Just like your body, your home needs a little TLC to keep it running efficiently. You can save money and energy pretty easily by taking advantage of these hot-weather tips.
Keep your home comfortable, but don’t turn it into an icebox. Santee Cooper suggests setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer. Setting your thermostat lower than 78 degrees can increase your energy bill by up to 5 percent for each degree you lower it.
If 78 seems a little warm to you, turn on a ceiling fan to stay cool. The U.S. Department of Energy says ceiling fans can make a room feel up to 7 degrees cooler. Plus, a ceiling fan uses significantly less energy than lowering the thermostat. (Just remember to turn it off when you leave the room!)
When cooking, your stove or oven can produce a lot of heat and make your HVAC work harder. Try cooking your meals in the microwave to keep your kitchen cool. You could also use a toaster, which consumes less energy than your oven. If you do need to use your oven, in most cases you can turn it off 10-15 minutes before the cooking time runs out. Your food will continue to cook without the extra energy.
Summer also means vacation time for most of us. If you’re heading out of town for a little R&R, make sure you turn your thermostat to a higher setting. There’s no need to cool your home, and spend your extra vacation money on your utility bill, if you’re not there to enjoy it.
A little TLC can go a long way, so take care of yourself and your home to have a great summer!