Summer has arrived. This usually means that the low electric bills experienced during the spring months start to rise. Fans and air conditioners are now kicking into high gear to keep your home cool.
The tips below will help keep you cool while saving money:
1. Ceiling fans should turn in the counter clockwise direction to create a wind chill effect making you feel cooler. Whole house fans that bring in cool night time air can also help reduce energy.
2. Utilize a programmable thermostat. If comfort and health conditions permit, raise your setting from 72 to 75 degrees. You can save 10-15% on your air conditioning costs with this one change alone.
3. Keep doors leading to uncooled parts of your home closed. If you have central air conditioning close off vents to unused rooms and be sure to keep the filters clean.
4. Shade trees can be planted on the south and west sides close enough to your home to provide shade.
5. Eliminate air leaks between window air conditioners and windows with foam insulation or weather-stripping. Eliminate any air leaks around doors.
6. TVs, computers and other electronic devices draw power when they are in standby mode or turned off yet still plugged in. Turn them off! Plug electronics into power strips and turn off the power switch when the items are not in use.
7. Utilize compact fluorescent light bulbs which use 60-75% less electricity and burn more coolly than incandescent bulbs. Keep in mind these bulbs are especially handy in hard-to-reach fixtures and won't need to be replaced nearly as often.
8. Use timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.
9. Delay tasks such as drying laundry until later in the day or early in the morning. Wash full loads using cold water whenever possible.
10. Run the dishwasher at night using the shortest cycle that will get the dishes clean. If manufacturers directions permit turn the dishwasher off before the dry cycle or use the air dry feature if your machine has one.
11. Replace old appliances with new energy efficient Energy Star appliances.