Tips for Saving Energy This Summer...
Ways to Save Energy and Money at Home

When the weather heat's up, these tips can help keep you cool and keep energy use and costs down.

  • Have your air conditioner cleaned and checked annually.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters regularly. A dirty or plugged filter reduces air conditioning efficiency and increases your cooling costs.
  • When at home, set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit. You can reduce cooling costs 3 to 5 percent for each degree you keep the thermostat set above 78 degrees.
  • Make sure air registers are not obstructed by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Use ceiling, window or oscillating fans when rooms are occupied. They make people feel more comfortable, thus requiring less air conditioning.
  • Keep heat-producing appliances away from thermostats. Their heat can cause the thermostat to register a higher temperature, which will make your air conditioner run longer than necessary.
  • Keep shades and drapes closed, especially on sunny sides of your home or apartment.
  • Use heat-generating household appliances in the morning or late evening when outdoor temperatures are at their low points.
  • Replace incandescent lights with fluorescent or LED lighting. If this is not possible, reduce the wattage of light bulbs in lamps and light fixtures. This also reduces the amount of heat the air conditioner has to remove.
  • Check and add insulation to attic, exterior walls and basement if appropriate.

You can also save energy and money while on vacation this summer by selectively "de-energizing" major appliances in your home before leaving town. It is the only way to reduce your energy bill when your home is vacant for long periods.

To "de-energize" your home...

  • Unplug computers, electronics and TVs.
  • Turn off your water heater.
  • Empty your refrigerator and unplug it.
  • Set your thermostat to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or turn off your air conditioner.
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