As summer sets and the outdoor temperature rises, so can home energy usage. But there are ways to stay comfortable in your home this summer all while keeping your energy costs in check.
Turn up your thermostat
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees when you are away. Remember to turn your air conditioning system off before leaving for summer vacation! For every degree over 72 that you set your thermostat, you can save 1 - 3 percent per degree on your energy costs!
Install a programmable thermostat
If you often forget to turn up the thermostat before leaving for the day, purchase an inexpensive programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically turn the temperature up or down according to your schedule.
Time your window air conditioner
Use a timer to turn on the air conditioner half an hour before you get home, rather than running it while you are gone. Keep the filters clean. If possible, locate the unit in a window that is most central to the area you are cooling and on the shadiest side of your home.
To make your home feel cooler, use ceiling or room fans. Using fans allows you to set the thermostat higher because the air movement will make the room feel more comfortable. Ceiling fans use no where near as much energy as your home’s central air or window air conditioning unit. Remember to turn the fan off when leaving a room!
Close your window shades, curtains or blinds
Windows are one of the largest sources of heat gain in your home. Although not as effective as exterior shading, keeping your drapes and shades closed during the day helps keep unwanted heat out of your home.
Replace air conditioner filters
Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to run longer and less efficient, increasing energy use. Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit.
Make Use of Your Microwave
Wondering what to make for dinner? Not only is it quicker and a lot more convenient, but four minutes in the microwave will generate much less heat and use much less energy than a half hour in the oven.
Turn the water heater off before leaving town
There’s no need to heat unused water. Plus, once turned back on, most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour. When at home, decreasing the water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 can help save up to $85 per year. A setting of 120 degrees is sufficient for most household needs.
Become a Grillmaster
Using the oven on a hot summer day forces your air-conditioning unit to work harder, which can lead to higher utility bills. Choose to grill outdoors instead and enjoy energy savings with your burgers and hot dogs.