Summer is here, and that means one thing – the constant whirr of millions of air conditioners across New York City and Westchester County. While your window unit may keep you cool, it’s taxing our energy grid, adding to our climate challenges and costing you and your family more and more of your income every summer.

Whether you rent or own your home, families are struggling with rising energy costs. We build homes as energy-efficiently as possible, using strategies like EnergyStar appliances, Passive House elements and more, all in an effort to keep New York greener, and our homeowners’ energy costs down.

But as climate change drives “hotter heat waves, drier droughts, bigger storm surges and greater snowfall,” we’ve compiled 10 tips to save money and help protect the environment.

Use Fans Instead Of A/C: They use little energy and cost practically nothing to run.

Appropriately Size Your A/C: If you’re in the majority of U.S. households with A/C, know that oversized units frequently cycle on and off and undersized units hog energy without cooling your space, both of which cost you money and increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Seal Cracks And Gaps: From doors and windows to basements and attics, sealing obvious openings in your home’s “building envelope” will improve efficiency and your finances.

Use Major Appliances At Night: Dishwashers and clothes washers and dryers use a decent amount of energy. Switch them on at night to keep your place cooler during the day, reduce strain on the power grid, and draw energy during times when it costs you less. Bonus points and savings when you use cold water.

Turn Off The (LED) Lights: We all know to do it when we leave rooms or our place…so just do it. Your wallet and the environment will thank you. While you’re at it, swap any old incandescent bulbs for LED bulbs which use roughly 85% less electricity.

Dress For Success: Stay comfortable without making your heater or A/C work overtime.

Replace Your Windows: Upgrading from single-pane windows, and/or adding solar shades or tinting film, will boost your comfort level while lowering your energy bill and emissions.

Install A Programmable Thermostat: They help maintain a consistent temperature which reduces energy demand, costs, and emissions compared to manually adjusting or forgetting to adjust your heating and cooling systems.

Install Low-Flow Showers And Toilets: They reduce the amount of water that needs to be heated or treated which keeps your energy costs and environmental footprint down.

Unplug Unused Electronics: Appliances from your laptop to your printer to your phone charger are often drawing electricity even when off, in some cases costing you hundreds of dollars per year and needlessly increasing emissions.

In Brooklyn? Come to see us in person! On Saturday, June 18th, from 11:00 am – 3:00pm
361 Lewis Ave (in front of the Brooklyn Library) we’ll be out in the community, telling residents about our newest affordable homeownership opportunity, the Mosaic project. You can also learn about how to keep your current home energy-efficient through various efficiency strategies, and learn about new City policies such as Local Law 97 (reducing carbon emissions from buildings), and products/recycling options to reduce waste. Save your money and save the planet!