Energy Savings for the Summer Months

As the warmer months approach, there are many actions you can take around you home to maximize your energy savings, offsetting those already high utility bills while still maintaining a cool house. Below I’ll outline a few steps you should consider now before the mercury begins to climb!

Save Energy by using LED Lights

One of my personal favorite energy saving techniques is to replace those old incandescent lightbulbs with LED. LED lights consume MUCH less power than their predecessors all while producing super high quality light. Common LED lightbulbs use as little as 5 to 8 watts compared to incandescent bulbs that use between 40 and 75 watts. If you’re wonder exactly how that translates to the utility bill, or you want to learn about other benefits of LED lights, check out this awesome post! LED Lights for Energy Savings! If you don’t have time for the deep-dive, just know that investing in LED lights will instantly reduce your power bill.

Replace your HVAC Filters

No matter the type of air conditioner you have in your home, it has some sort of filter that needs to be replaced or cleaned on a regular basis to ensure efficient operation. In common central A/C systems, there is one and sometimes two or more filters on the return air (suction) side of the air handler. They may be located on the ceiling or on a wall in your home, behind a louvered door or hatch. These filters should be replaced regularly, as often as every 30 days to keep your A/C running efficiently.

As dust accumulates on the filter, the airflow back to the air handler is reduced, in turn reducing the amount of heat transfer that the system is capable of per unit of time. This means your A/C’s compressor will be working harder (using more energy) to provide the same amount of cooling. While filters may be easy to overlook, your power bill will be VERY noticeable when your A/C is consuming much more power. If you want to get a better understanding of exactly how much power your HVAC system uses and why these energy savings ideas are so important, take a look at Keeping Your House Cool in the Summer!

Replace Weather Stripping for Energy Savings

Lots of energy is wasted in the summer months due to leaky doors and windows. As I noted in the last section, losses related to your air conditioner will cost you dearly in the long run, this is no different. When you set your thermostat to 70° F in the summer time, your A/C is removing the heat in your home’s air via a vapor compression cycle.

Your A/C and Energy Savings

With all of this A/C talk, I’d like to explain exactly how it cools your home and why it costs money to do so.


In order to take the heat from within your home and move it outside, power must be added to the system (your A/C in this case) because heat wants to flow the other way. The second law of thermodynamics says that heat wants to move from the hot source to the cold source. We’re doing the opposite here so it takes extra power!

Refrigeration Cycle

The A/C’s compressor (which is the appliance we provide power to) compresses refrigerant in a sealed system. When the refrigerant gets to the compressor, it has already picked up heat from your air via the evaporator. After compression to vapor state, it releases that SAME heat to the outdoors through a state change (vapor to liquid) inside of the condensing coil. The now liquid refrigerant travels through an expansion valve and then back to the evaporator where it picks up MORE of the heat from your home’s air.  

This image describes the stages of the refrigeration cycle (vapor compression cycle)

Why this matters (and why you had to read about thermodynamics!)

Now, imagine this A/C has been working very hard to reduce your indoor temperature to 70°. It finally gets to that temperature and turns off – yay! No more power consumption! But then you open the front door and a bunch of warm air rushes in – A/C comes back on and runs until its 70° again.

The cost of ignoring science

Leaky doors and windows may not seam like a huge deal because you can barely notice the outdoor air seeping in. You may not notice at all! But in reality, many small leaks due to poor weather stripping can add up to the equivalent of leaving one door open all day. In a prior post I broke down the cost to run a 3 ton air conditioner for 1 month (roughly $100). If your leaky doors and windows add up to 10% energy loss, you can directly equate that to losing $10 per month!

Replace Doors and Windows

If new weather stripping just doesn’t get the job done, you may need to think about replacing doors and windows in your home. This is a daunting reality for many because of the high cost of windows and doors. What is even worse is thecost of having someone install them! Because of this, I take an approach based in the reality of my life – I do it myself! I know not everyone is in a position to DIY a front door or a window, but I’m willing to bet more there are many of you that have never given yourself a chance. I believe in you! Either way, replacing doors and windows will lead to an instant energy savings which translates to money in your pocket!

Attic Insulation for Energy Savings

Another super important energy saving feature of a home is insulation. Most homes have insulation in the exterior walls and in the attic (on top of your ceiling). The attic insulation plays a huge roll in keeping that nice cool air in your house from sapping the energy out of the warm outside air, and kicking your A/C on. Take a look at your attic insulation if you haven’t done so in the past. Over time it tends to compress under it’s own weight and in turn loses it’s ability to insulate. Many homes have blown in insulation in attic – you can hire a company to replace this or you can rent a machine and DIY! Either way, this is a crucial factor when it comes to saving energy.

All the Small Things

I can only dream about having a super energy-efficient home. The reality is, my home is aging and I’m constantly trying to keep up with it. As a homeowner, it can seem impossible to keep the house clean sometimes let alone finish projects and take on new ones. That’s why I keep it simple – set some overall goals and try and do one or two things a day, or a week, in support of those goals.

If your goal is to save energy (probably is since your reading this),  then caulk that window or fix the weather stripping when you realize it’s a problem. Buy a few extra filters for you A/C and put some dates on them with a marker to remind yourself when it should be replaced. Go buy a box of LED lights and replace your old ones as they burn out. Making your home more efficient and saving money doesn’t have to be hard, just take it one day at a time and if you have any questions or want to comment on how you save energy, let us know in the comments!

Manage Unexpected Home Costs Through Knowledge and Understanding

Over the years, home costs can seem quite unexpected. We all know things wear out and break, yet we tend to put it to the back of our mind. I read an article today about how much money someone has spent on home repairs over a certain period of time. They mentioned they bought the house new and around the 10-year mark they were hit with tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected home costs. I thought to myself, yep, homes are expensive – that’s why you should understand what you’re getting into and expect to put money back into the house.

Out Of Touch

Where the article lost my interest is the author began talking about how they made sure they had a years’ worth of living expenses on hand before buying a home, plus whatever extra thousands they had saved for repairs. They wrapped it up by proclaiming that you should be prepared with an emergency fund, and how upset they were that they’re house cost them money. Good thing they had like $60k in savings, right?

Your Home is a Solid Investment

So, a couple of things I want to talk about – first of all, the only reason you should be upset that you had to spend money on your house is if you have to repair or replace something you outright neglected. You should be upset at yourself for not maintaining it properly. Houses WILL cost you money – but you are putting YOUR money into YOUR investment. Be proud of your home and buy it what it deserves! If you ignore problems or let them get out of hand, they will cost you more money in the long run.

We’re All Just Trying to Make a Living

Next, for me, when I read these cookie-cutter, out of touch articles that tell you to have $100k on hand incase you want to take a trip to Cabo, etc… It makes me ill. According to, the median bank account balance in the U.S. in 2019 was $5,300. The mean, or average, was much higher, at $41,600. This data tells us that half of the bank accounts in the U.S. in 2019 had $5,300 or less in them.

The average is misleading because it factors in bank accounts with very high balances. Remember, the average is the sum of ALL accounts divided by the number of accounts. So no, the average American does not have 1 year-worth of savings on hand. But I can tell you this, over 65% of Americans reported themselves as homeowners in the first quarter of 2022. Don’t let articles like that one make you feel like you shouldn’t pursue homeownership because you don’t think you have enough money.

Become House Literate – It’ll Save You Money

Last but not least of unexpected home costs, get a good understanding of the ins and outs of a home. Learn about the HVAC system, how it works, and what it costs to properly maintain it. If you have an old system, find out the replacement cost early on before you get hit with a bill you can’t afford. Learn about water heaters and even the electrical and gas systems in your house.

I’m not telling you to spend every evening studying engineering theory and building codes, just brush up on the basics. Did you know that some HVAC companies send sales reps to your hose to quote the job – and these sales reps work on commission? That’s dangerous to the homeowner that doesn’t have a basic understanding of their HVAC system and requirements. In 2015, I had my 1.5-ton heat pump replaced in my old home. I had quotes anywhere between $4500 and $12000. Guess which contractor sent a sales rep?

Your Doing Great, Keep It Up!

I’m sure having a year’s worth of living expenses saved up before purchasing a house is great. Having thousands of dollars for unexpected expenses is great was well. To me though, articles like that are not speaking to the general public. You put numbers like that out there and the message becomes disparaging to many. The thing is, no matter who you are and how fancy your house is, you need to take care of it. You’ll have to spend money sooner or later, but you should always be sure that you’re doing what you can to maintain it properly in order to reduce those expenses – turning unexpected expenses into expected ones.

We’re Here for You

I created this blog with the intent to educate everyday people, home-owner or not, about maintenance, repairs, and all-around home stuff. MyHomie is committed to helping you with relevant, helpful, and most important of all, realistic solutions for your everyday problems around the house. Are you making a fence out of used pallets because that’s all you can afford? Awesome, let’s talk about it!

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

4 Reasons to buy an electric pressure washer today

I’m American. I like things that are bigger, faster, louder, and more powerful. Everything I own is red white and blue, and runs on fossil fuels. Well, almost everything.

If you would have told me to buy an electric pressure washer 5 years ago, I would have laughed and asked why? So, my neighbors can laugh at me? And I never bought one – my wife did.

I scoffed at it and told her I’d rather throw my shoulder out trying to start my old gas powered one every spring after the gas congealed in the carburetor from sitting too long.

Rightfully disgusted, I held my position for about 2 hours until I heard the sweet purr of the water hitting the driveway – something I had never heard before, because it was drowned out by the drone of a gasoline powered engine.

I immediately life was immediately changed the moment I snatched the washer wand from my wife’s hands and drew a smiley face in the years-worth of dirt buildup on my driveway.

“This thing is awesome” – me

“Dude, it’s so quiet” – me

“Why didn’t anyone tell me about these before” – me (they told me, I just didn’t listen)

So, here it is – an almost comprehensive list of why you should buy an electric pressure washer.

Its electric – duh.

I’m not going to lecture you on why you should reduce your use of fossil fuels and why it’s important to switch to renewables. I mean, your electricity probably isn’t coming from a renewable source, but this is a start.

It is cheaper to operate an electric motor than it is a gasoline powered motor. If you’re paying the U.S. average of $0.145 per kilowatt hour for electricity, it costs about 10 cents per horsepower * hour. In other words, a 1 horse power electric motor costs you 10 cents an hour to run at constant output.

A gasoline motor with equivalent output will cost you about 40 cents per hour to run (considering $5 / gallon gas price)

With gas prices at a historical high right now, electric pressure washers are music to my ears.

Noise pollution

Some people could care less about how loud their equipment is. I implied above that I am one of those people – I am not. The ‘bigger, faster, louder’ part was a joke. I used to have a neighbor that would weed eat his yard at 10pm, for no less than 2 hours at a time – I’m starting to think he was just trying to have some alone time. Anyway, the sound of a 2-stroke motor screaming at you from 3 houses away for two hours at 10pm is not my cup of tea.

Now, that may be an extreme, buy we all have been in a situation where someone was cutting their grass, weed eating, cutting trees, or whatever while you were just trying to relax on your back porch. Or maybe you were working from home, in an important meeting (on your back porch), or maybe you were in your kitchen. Gas motors from lawn equipment make a lot of noise! Switching to electric is not only good for the environment, but its courteous to your neighbors as well. Now you’ve done two good deeds!

Electric pressure washers require less maintenance

I alluded to this in my introduction to this topic. Have you ever let gasoline in a carburetor for an extended period of time? It solidifies and ruins the carburetor, the seals, and the fuel line. Every season you need to drain the fuel tank and engine of gas or add an expensive fuel stabilizer to it so it doesn’t solidify.

Spoiler alert – you do not have to do this with an electric motor! Guess what else you don’t have to do? Yep – change the spark plug. Or change the oil. Again, I love electric motors.

Electric pressure washers have pressure too!

I used to think electric pressure washers were weak. I didn’t think they could tackle the tough job of peeling off 1/16th inch of concrete from my driveway every year. And even if it does clean it, the motor will probably burn up, right?

This is absolutely not the case. Electric pressure washers some in many sizes, anywhere from 1200 psi up to 3000 psi or more.  Sure, with a quick search I can find a gas-powered washer that produces 3200 psi. That’s more. But let’s be real – 3000 is pretty close to 3200.


I have owned the same one for about 5 years. This was by no means an expensive model – it produces a maximum of 1800 psi and is powerful enough to do it all around my house. Clean the driveway, the siding, and the cars. I have run it for 5 hours straight on a 100F day in the middle of the summer. It still works.

It’s crazy that I ever doubted the quality and reliability of an electric pressure washer. It’s not like I’m a professional pressure washer user or anything. I’m just your everyday suburban user of high-pressure water from time to time. Even if I did wash with pressure for a living, I would now consider buying an electric one!

I hope this helped you get off the fence. And while your off it, hit it with that pressure washer!