The following tips will save you energy and help your budget during warmer weather.
- Look for ENERGY STAR air conditioners. They are the most energy efficient models on the market.
- Replacing your old central air conditioner with a new ENERGY STAR qualified model can reduce your cooling costs by 20 percent.
- If possible, keep your room air conditioner out of the sun. Room air conditioners work best when kept cool. Installing one in a north-facing wall is usually ideal.
- If you have central air conditioning, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees. You can also save approximately an additional six to seven percent off your cooling costs for each degree above 78.
- If your air conditioner does not have a thermostat, adjust it to a lower setting, or combine using it with a window or ceiling fan to cool things down.
- Consider installing a ceiling fan. During hot weather a ceiling fan will create a cool breeze and keep the air circulating in your home.
- Get rid of hot air. Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen while you’re cooking. The savings on your cooling costs far outweigh the electricity used by the fan. Also, take lukewarm showers and baths to avoid humid air, which holds more heat.
- A dehumidifier can greatly add to your electric bill. Make sure you have the appropriate sized dehumidifier for your home.
- Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day. This keeps the strong sunlight from heating your home.
- Use your microwave or countertop appliances for cooking instead of the oven or stove.
- What says summer better than burgers and hot dogs? Instead of using your oven or stove, which can generate heat on an already hot day, fire up the outdoor grill for cooking. You can also use your microwave or other countertop appliances in place of the stove or oven.
- Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save money on your electricity bill. If you have children in the house, this is also a safety measure.
- Install ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light bulbs in your most-used fixtures and lamps. Fluorescent bulbs put out less heat, plus you’ll save $30 to $40 in energy costs over the life of each bulb.
- Check your heating and cooling system to make sure it is operating at peak efficiency.
- Postpone laundry and dishwashing until nighttime to avoid generating extra heat in your home. Also, consider taking advantage of the warmer air and dry your laundry outside.
- Don’t forget about your own energy. Wearing lighter clothing can help cool you down without turning on the air conditioner. Also, remember to stay hydrated during extreme temperatures.
- If you have a pool, turn off your filter overnight when the pool is not in use.