Sustainability Recipe: Eight Projects for Summer Savings

Campus Sustainability Office June 23, 2023

About this Series

Sustainability Life Recipes provide practical tips to go green and save green. Each recipe features strategies that save money while protecting the environment and contributing to good jobs for people in our community. 

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Produced in collaboration with Smart Energy Choices (formerly Get Your Greenback)

caulking a window frame to prevent air leakage
Applying caulk to a window frame to prevent air leakage. This caulk is white when applied, and dries clear. |  ©

Eight Projects for Summer Savings

Whether spring has sprung or the hot weather is already here, the fair weather is a great time to get your home in top shape to save you money.

Here are eight things you can do in your home right now to add comfort and save money, time, and energy and get your home ready for the cooler months ahead:

  1. Seal Leaky Windows - Air leaks from your windows can let unwanted warm (or cold) air inside the house, which can increase your energy bill. Add weather stripping or caulk to seal up leaks in the windows around your home.

  2. Weatherstrip Your Garage - The garage may be the last place that comes to mind when you think of energy efficiency, but often times garages are one of the biggest air-loss culprits in your home. As you’re putting away the snow blower and sweeping the garage floor this spring, consider adding weather stripping to the bottom of the garage door and the door leading from the garage into your home.
    Heating and cooling  system.
    Without proper installation, air conditioning and heating equipment will perform significantly below rated energy-efficiency levels.
  3. Run Your Dehumidifier - Dehumidifiers can and should be run during any period of damp weather. If you’re in the market for a dehumidifier, consider purchasing an ENERGY STAR® unit, which uses 15% less energy than conventional models.
  4. Check and Clean Your Air Conditioner Filters - As you dust those air conditioners off, be sure to check the filters. At minimum, change your air conditioner filter every three months — heavier use months require a monthly replacement. A dirty filter slows down airflow and makes your system work harder to keep you comfortable.
  5. Give Your Heating and Cooling System a Once-over - Spring is a great time to have maintenance done on your home’s heating and cooling system. Proper maintenance helps to ensure efficiency, improves the comfort of your home and can even contribute to a cleaner environment. Learn more about heating and cooling options.
  6. Give Your Light Bulbs a Makeover - Did you know that ENERGY STAR® certified light bulbs use 70-90% less energy than conventional bulbs? It may seem like a small thing, but updating your home’s light bulbs can help you save energy and money. 
  7.  Make Your Smart Home Work for You - If you already have smart technology installed in your home, try re-programming your thermostats and lighting to save you money and make your home more comfortable. This spring, program your thermostats at a slightly higher temperature as the weather warms - the smaller the gap between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the greater the savings in your overall heating and cooling bill. Automatically program your lights to turn on later in the day, allowing your family to take advantage of the extra hours of daylight and make your home more energy efficient.
  8. Clean Your Outdoor Vents - Thoroughly clean any accessible exterior vents to rid them of dust, webs, leaves, lint or other particles that may block air flow and reduce the overall energy efficiency of appliances such as your clothes dryer, heating system, water heater, kitchen fan exhaust, or bath fan exhaust.

This recipe was originally posted by the NYSERDA monthly newsletter. NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and support to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA  professionals work to protect the environment and create clean energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA's programs, visit - 1-866-NYSERDA |