Although temperatures are rising, your energy consumption doesn’t have to! These tips will help you find ways to save energy and money this summer.
lluminate with ENERGY STAR®. Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Use energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, and you can use 75 percent less energy.
Microwave it or grill it. Can’t stand the heat in the kitchen? Use your microwave oven as much as possible in the summer. Microwave ovens use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens. You can also fire up the grill and dine al fresco! Your house will stay cooler and you’ll save energy.
Check the date. If your current refrigerator was made before 1993, replace it with a new ENERGY STAR model which uses half the amount of energy. If you have a fridge from the 1980s, replace it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model and save over $100 per year on your utility bills.
Retire your back-up fridge. Many homes have older refrigerators in their garage or basement for overflow storage. Refrigerators are large energy users in your home and can cost a lot to operate. If you need that extra refrigerator or freezer, buy an ENERGY STAR qualified model. Keep your back-up refrigerator or freezer as full as possible, and unplug it when it is empty.
Turn In. Turn On. ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners use up to 25 percent less energy than a standard new model and up to 40 percent less energy than a model that is more than 10 years old. When purchasing a new one, look for a high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). Units with high EERs cost less to operate. Turn in your old, room air conditioner to your local waste management facility.
Size it Right. A properly sized air conditioner will operate more efficiently and dehumidify more effectively. An oversized unit will cycle on and off more frequently. Short cycling reduces an air conditioning system’s life, and a short cycling system will not reduce humidity effectively. Undersized equipment can reduce the efficiency of air distribution and accelerate wear on system components, leading to premature failure.
No Dirty Business. Be sure to check your air conditioner filter. A dirty filter will increase energy use and can damage the air conditioner leading to early failures. Check the filter every month and replace as needed.
Don’t Forget the Adoring Fans. ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans can help cool a home without greatly increasing electricity use. They improve airflow and create pleasant breezes.
Curtains closed. Block out heat by keeping blinds or curtains closed during the day, especially on south-facing windows.
Change the way you dry. If possible, dry clothes on a clothes line. If you use your dryer, try to do full loads or reduce drying time for partial loads.
Keep your lint trap clean. Remember to clean your dryer’s lint trap before every laundry load; it’s an important energy saver and one of the easiest things you can do to increase drying efficiency. This step can save you up to $34 each year.
Turn it off. Try using advanced power strips to centrally “turn off” all appliances and save energy. Plug your DVD player, Blu-RayTM player, television, computer and other electronics into an advanced power strip to provide easy access in powering down multiple electronics all at once.
Watch your water. Water makes up much of a home’s energy usage, so be mindful of the different ways you’re consuming water throughout your home. Instead of using 30 to 40 gallons of water to take a bath, install a low-flow showerhead, which uses less than 3 gallons a minute. You’ll save $50 per year on average.
Dehumidify. Dehumidifiers can remove excess moisture (humidity) from the basement or other moist areas in your home. ENERGY STAR qualified dehumidifiers use less energy and can save more than $220 in energy costs over the life of the unit.
Additional Energy Saving Tips