With the weather warming up are you finding it hard to keep your home cooled down? Try these strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer. Some of the tips are free and can be used daily to increase your savings; others are low-cost actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the warmer months. You can also find more ways to save energy and stay cool at Energy.gov.
LET YOUR WINDOWS DO THE WORK
- On nights when it is cool, turn off the air conditioner 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 to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- Consider installing energy efficient window treatments.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE THERMOSTAT, TURN IT UP
- 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 only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat — like Nest — allow you to setup a schedule for your system for maximum energy savings.
- 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.
KEEP THE AIR FLOWING
- If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about without sacrificing comfort.
- Remember during the warmer months you want the fan to blow air straight down, so your ceiling fan needs to run in a counter clockwise direction as you look up at it.
- 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).
HELP YOUR SYSTEM HELP YOU
- Schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioner.
- 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 often to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
OTHER WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY
- On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
- Install efficient lighting that runs cooler.
- 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.
- 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.
- Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
- 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.