Here in San Diego, we are spoiled by amazing temperatures year-round. Every now and then, though, the heat and humidity can sneak up on us—so it’s always good to be prepared.

Today, I have a few ways to help you be more comfortable in your home and save money on energy costs:

1. Plug up any holes that you see around your home. If I walked into your home today, I bet we would find a hole or gap that is dragging all the cold air outside. Most of these gaps are around doors or windows. For doors, I recommend installing threshold sweeps to seal up the gap at the bottom, keep bugs out, and trap your cool air inside the house. I also recommend weather stripping around exterior doors.

If you have the budget, you can even replace your windows with retrofit windows. Retrofit windows are easy to install. Otherwise, foam and outdoor, silicone-based caulking can help seal your windows up tight.

2. Close the shades. If you have direct sunshine coming in your house during the morning or evening, your home will be warmer. Just keeping your shades closed at those times of the day will drastically reduce your home’s temperature and help keep energy costs down. At the very least, make sure that you keep the shades closed while you’re at work so your home will stay cool during the day.

3. Clean your air conditioning filters. Clean your filters every month, especially during the summer when your AC is running most of the time.

4. Program the thermostat. If you aren’t home for most of the day, your home doesn’t need to be as cool as it is when you are there. During the day, raise the temperature just a little bit. Take advantage of those smart thermostats and let them work for you in your home.

5. Unplug, unplug, unplug. I walk around all day turning off or unplugging electronics. It might not seem like a big deal, but I challenge you to try it. Unplug your TV or computer, too—those electronics use a lot of power even when they are not on. You’d be amazed at how many items are plugged in and costing you money when they are not in use.

“These are simple things you can do to save money and stay cool.”

6. Don’t run your oven as often. Summertime is for barbecues and outdoor grilling. If you have to, use the cooktop. Running your oven is more expensive than you think, plus you’re adding a heat source for your home in the summer.

7. Turn down the temperature on your water heater. It’s fairly common for the water heater to be in your garage. Since the garage is already warmer than the rest of the house, simply turn down the temperature from 130 degrees to 115 degrees can save you about $50 a year. That may not seem like much, but it’s definitely worth it.

You can also wind an insulated blanket or wrap around the water heater to keep temperatures consistent.

8. Tune up your air conditioner. Make sure you get your air conditioner serviced. We tend to forget about that AC in the winter, but I recommend getting your AC serviced just before spring. Don’t ignore your air conditioner until something goes wrong.

9. Upgrade your systems. There are a few different things you can do. Change light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones; they are very affordable. You can also add fans to any room to create air flow.

Everyone likes to have an outdoor light on at night for security purposes. I’ve been experimenting with some solar lights lately, and I can’t believe how effective they are. Give me a call if you want to know which brand I’ve been using.

Finally, even replacing older appliances like your refrigerator, dishwasher, or washer and dryer. It does take a bit more money, but if you need to replace them you might as well find more energy-efficient appliances. There are some great affordable options out there that can save you more money in the long run.

These are just a few of the simple steps you can take to keep cool this summer and save some money while you’re at it. If you have any other questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!