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Don’t Let Energy Savings Swelter in the Summer Heat

Summer Energy Savings Tips from NYSERDA

July 10, 2012

Just because temperatures are rising doesn’t mean your energy consumption has to follow suit.  There are ways to increase energy savings in the midst of summer heat.  These tips from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will help you find ways to save energy and money this summer. 

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.

  • You can save from $300-$700 over the next five years by not running your second refrigerator. By unplugging your second refrigerator and properly recycling it, you can also prevent 5,500 to 20,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • If you need that extra refrigerator or freezer, buy an ENERGY STAR® qualified model. Keep your refrigerator or freezer as full as possible, and unplug it when empty.
  • A new ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator uses less energy than a 60-watt light bulb that is on continuously. ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators also use at least 20 percent less energy than required by current federal standards.

Dehumidify. Dehumidifiers can remove excess moisture (humidity) from the air in your home. It is common to have excess moisture in the basement. The ideal range for relative humidity is between 30 and 50 percent.

  • Some of the most common indications that you may need a dehumidifier are: musty smells, presence of mold and mildew, rotting wood, condensation on windows and increased allergies. If the air in your home is too moist, it will encourage the growth of mildew, mites and mold, which are common allergens.
  • To reduce humidity in your basement, make sure the dryer is not venting inside the basement. Also, be sure to check that the ground next to the foundation slopes away and outdoor downspouts – vertical pipes that carry rainwater down from the roof gutter - lead at least 3 feet away from the foundation.
  • If you decide you need a dehumidifier for your home, look for one that has earned the ENERGY STAR. They use less energy and can save more than $220 in energy costs over the life of the unit.

Light saver! Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Buy energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs and you can use 75 percent less energy.

  • Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lighting can save you $70 a year in energy costs. 
  • Compared to incandescent light bulbs, ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs last about 10 times longer and produce about 75 percent less heat, which reduces cooling costs. They also are required to have manufacturer-backed warranties and meet strict energy efficiency and performance requirements.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures and lamps feature stylish designs and are available in a variety of models, including replacements for recessed cans in the kitchen, globes for the bathroom vanity and other bulbs that have the same shape and give off the same light as an incandescent.

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.
  • Purchase the right-sized advanced power strip for the right application. The more outlets a strip has, the more energy it uses.

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.

  •  Check your faucets for cracks and leaks – a mere drop of water per second can waste as much as 10 gallons of water a week and hundreds of dollars per year.
  • 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.

Last Updated: 07/30/2014

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