FEELING HOT! HOT! HOT!
It’s almost summertime again, and a good strategy with some easy and inexpensive actions will save you both energy and money. Keep your cool by following these tips for energy efficiency when the temps begin to rise.
OPEN THOSE WINDOWS! IMPLEMENT NATURAL VENTILATION
If you live in an area which cools down at night, after the sun sets, turn off your air conditioning and open your windows. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and drapes or blinds to maximize the cool air. Install window coverings designed to prevent heat gain through the windows.
CONTROL YOUR THERMOSTAT WISELY
Although you may be inclined to turn down your thermostat rather drastically during the summer, try to set it as high as comfortably possible, especially when you are not home. A programmable thermostat can efficiently help keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and cooler only when you are home, without you having to remember to change it each day. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your cooling bill will be.
LET THE BREEZE BLOW
A ceiling fan used in conjunction with air conditioning will allow you to turn up the thermostat about four degrees with no change in comfort level. Be sure to turn off the ceiling fan when you leave the room. Fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect. Use ventilation fans in the bathroom during showers or baths to remove heat and humidity, as well as laundry rooms and kitchens when in use. For optimal efficiency, bathroom and kitchen fans should be vented to the outside and not up into the attic.
AVOID UNINTENTIONAL HEATING
Don’t heat your house with appliances and lights. On hot days, use the oven as little as possible, or opt to grill outside. Consider installing efficient, cooler lighting. 85% to 90% of the electricity consumed by incandescent lights is actually turned into heat, while only 10% to 15% results in light. Take advantage of daylight, while avoiding direct sunlight. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes. Air drying both will help minimize extra heat. Take short showers instead of baths. Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in a typical home. Turn off computers and televisions when not in use. Idle appliances left on create unnecessary heat. Seal cracks and openings which allow heat to leak into your home, including adding caulk or weather stripping around doors and windows.