A lot of us have spent the past few weeks in our yards planting flowers, trimming trees and wondering what to do when that cute baby bunny is big enough to raid the garden.
After a long winter, prepping the yard for summer can feel more like play than work. All of our focus is outside, which is understandable, but don’t forget your home. Getting your house ready for summer is just as important as your yard and especially important this year with forecasts predicting a hot, dry summer.
So how does a person get their house in summer shape? Check out these ideas to get started.
1. Keeping it cool: You’ll rely heavily on your air conditioner this summer, so don’t forget to give it some love. Schedule an A/C inspection to ensure everything is running properly. An efficient appliance equals lower energy costs and improved reliability.
2. Service Guard Plan: Enroll in a Service Guard plan for appliance coverage. With appliance costs on a rise this summer, an appliance repair plan can help you avoid a costly replacement. We like to think of it as peace of mind in a plan.
3. Manage your online account: If you haven’t done so already, set up your online account in the customer portal. Then set up your automatic payments. How does that prepare your house for summer, you might ask? OK, this one is more for you actually. Setting up an auto payment frees up your time so you can spend more time at the lake and less time at the table paying bills.
4. Monitor energy use: Your customer portal allows you to monitor your energy usage, offering you a real-time look at what in your home is using the most energy. You can then adjust to save money.
5. Don’t miss an alert: With summer comes thunderstorms, hail and other severe weather systems. Set up contact information in your customer portal so you receive timely, accurate alerts in the case of emergencies like power outages.
6. Be prepared for summer storms: Consider putting together an emergency kit with flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water, a first aid kit, blankets, extra clothing and shoes, information about prescriptions and other health issues and important papers. If the power goes out or you have to leave your home in a rush due to weather, a kit will be a lifesaver. More storm safety tips.
7.Think energy efficiency and sustainable living: Start incorporating some energy efficiency practices right now before the weather turns hot. With predictions of an especially hot summer and higher than normal energy costs, finding ways to save energy will mean extra money in your bank and a lighter burden on Mother Earth.
Here are just a few energy saving tips:
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise in the summer to push cooler air down.
- Keep blinds, shades and drapes closed during the hottest part of the day.
- Lower your water heater temperature setting a few degrees to save energy. Reducing your water heater temperature to under 120 degrees can save you up to 10% on your water heater costs.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically raise the thermostat setting at least five degrees when no one is home; 85 degrees is ideal. A smart thermostat can save on average up to 15% off your energy bill in warmer weather. See if you’re eligible for a rebate on a programmable thermostat.
- Install an attic ventilator to draw cool air up through the house which can provide as much comfort as an air conditioner at a much lower cost.
- Improve your home’s efficiency with insulation and weatherization, which includes weather stripping.
- Install LED lightbulbs throughout your home.
- Consider installing energy efficient appliances.
With these tips, you’ll have your house prepped and ready for summer before you know it. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get summer ready!
Black Hills Energy Blog
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