Summer brings hot dry weather. With high temperatures cooling systems run longer and expenses go up. Cooling your home is easier if it doesn't heat up. Good insulation, caulking and weather stripping, as well as overhangs, awnings and shades serve to keep the heat outside during the summertime.
Some energy saving tips are:
- Use electricity during off-peak hours to reduce the load on your utility. Off-peak hours are 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- If using the air conditioner, set the thermostat to the highest comfortable setting, 78 degrees (F) works for most people. You will save 5 to 10 percent on the operating cost of the air conditioner for every two degrees of cooling you are willing to give up.
- Set refrigerator temperatures between 37 and 40 degrees F. Keep the refrigerator stocked; it takes more energy to cool an empty fridge. Use a thermometer to verify temperatures.
- Shut off or unplug lights, computers and other electronic appliances when you're not using them.
- Lower the temperature on an electric water heater to 120 degrees F. Turn it off when leaving for extended periods of time.
- Close blinds, drapes or window coverings on the south facing windows. This reduces the amount of heat build-up in the home. Properly adjust window awnings for optimal shading.
- Use ceiling or portable fans to keep air moving.
- Save washing clothes/dishes and showers for the early morning or evening time, when it's cooler. These activities build up humidity, when air conditioners work to remove humidity.
- Use your microwave, toaster oven or grill instead of the stove or oven. They use less energy and prevent excessive heat build-up in the house.
- Wash full loads of dishes and air dry.
- When washing clothes, use warm or cold water and rinse with cold.
- Clean coils on the refrigerator, lint from dryer, the dust on lights, the debris in/on the air conditioning unit, the filter on the AC unit, the frost in your freezer. Equipment will last longer and save energy.
When purchasing new appliances for the home, choose an energy-efficient model. Look for Energy Star appliances. These appliances cost more initially, but will save both money and energy over its entire life. An appliance that is cheaper will have higher operating costs and the savings you'll accumulate from using an Energy Star appliance will be substantial. See the Energy Star Web site at www.energystar.gov for more information on home products.
Enjoy your summer and take a few simple steps to conserve energy and save money.
Source: University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County Submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
Energy Saving Tips - Summer
I found by going to a hardware store an getting the dark plastic that goes right on the windows helps so much. you just cut to size of the window, spray with a little water an put on the plastic. if you move you can always take it off the windows an take it with you. (05/17/2004)
Saving Energy by Landscaping
If you own your home, consider landscaping as a means to reduce energy costs. Believe it or not, positioning trees carefully around your home can save up to 25% of a typical household's energy for heating and cooling.
By Robin (12/23/2004)