Look outside and you’ll likely see grass scorching and flowers wilting in the 100+ degree heat. But while everything seems to be turning brown, you can save some green on utility bills.
Lower water and electricity bills benefit your wallet but also save energy and the environment. There are several ways to create a more energy efficient home.
You can limit water use even during Oklahoma’s hottest summers. Check faucets and pipes for leaks and promptly make necessary repairs. To check for a toilet leak, put food coloring in the tank. Without flushing, check the toilet within a half hour to see if the color has seeped into the bowl. If so, there is a leak.
You can also save water is by installing water-saving shower heads, which typically use less than 2.5 gallons per minute. Challenge yourself to shorten your shower time. According to LiveStrong.com, bathing is the third highest use of water in American households, and according to the Portland Water Bureau, consumes 17 percent of indoor water.
It's hard to avoid watering your lawn at all, but maximize the times you do. Having your sprinklers run in the early morning hours will allow the moisture to soak into the soil. Let Mother Nature do her thing and ensure sprinklers are off during any summer rains. The easiest way to lower water bills is to let your lawn go a little -- consider cutting down sprinkler usage and let your grass naturally fade.
You can also pay less on your summer electric bills. New homes are more efficient than older ones, and Capital Homes are 34 percent more efficient than even the average new construction home. If moving is not an option, there are other measures homeowners can take to save money.
For example, take advantage of PSO's power hours This program allows homeowners to save on their electricity bill by committing to using utilities only outside of peak hours.
One of the best tools Capital homeowners use to save money on utility bills is a programmable thermostat. This device allows you to conserve energy and money while you’re out of the home while maintaining a comfortable temperature when you return. Technology-forward products also exist to let you manage this remotely.
If you’re building a home or looking to make major upgrades, look for double-paned, low-e insulted vinyl windows. According to the Department of Energy, nearly 25 percent of annual heating and cooling costs are attributed to energy loss through windows. This upgrade not only better insulates your home, but also can save you up to 18 percent on your cooling costs according to HomeAdvisor.com.
Lastly, don't forget about the part of your home most exposed to heat – the roof. In addition to blown-in insulation, consider options like radiant barrier roof decking to deflect additional heat. Utility companies regularly provide rebates for such “go green” efforts, so make sure to check with them!
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