7 tips to save energy and reduce your summer power bill
May 23, 2018 – These simple and inexpensive actions can help you save energy and money during the warm spring and summer months.
- OPERATE YOUR THERMOSTAT EFFICIENTLY
Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- USE FANS AND VENTILATION STRATEGIES TO COOL YOUR HOME
If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
- USE YOUR WINDOWS TO GAIN COOL AIR AND KEEP OUT HEAT
During mild weather, turn off your cooling system when it cools off at night and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
Install window coverings such as insulated drapes or blinds to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- KEEP YOUR COOLING SYSTEM RUNNING EFFICIENTLY
Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
Replacing/cleaning your air filters regularly can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15%.
Keep plants and brush at least three feet away from outside heating and cooling units so they can operate more efficiently.
Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
- DON'T HEAT YOUR HOME WITH APPLIANCES AND LIGHTING
On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
Install efficient LED lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting, but avoid direct sunlight.
Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing.
Wash clothes in cold water and clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use.
Eliminate, or unplug extra freezers or refrigerators if you can, especially if they spend the summer outdoors or in a garage.
Take short showers instead of baths.
Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.
When shopping for appliances, always choose EnergyStar models. Compared to a 1990 model, a new Energy Star-qualified refrigerator will save enough electricity to light your home for more than four months.
- KEEP HOT AIR FROM LEAKING INTO YOUR HOME
Circle your home with an easy-to-use spray foam insulation and look for openings and gaps around pipes, chimneys, lights, windows and basement brick and cement work to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
- LOWER YOUR WATER HEATING COSTS
Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy consumed in your home.
Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy