Simple and inexpensive strategies can help you save energy during the summer when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Here are some tips that can be used daily to maximum savings throughout the hottest season.
Use Your Windows to Keep Cool Air In
- If temperatures cool off at night where you live, turn off your air conditioning system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake up shut the windows and blinds to keep the cool air in.
- Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- Consider window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
Use Your Thermostat Efficiently
- Set your thermostat setting at a higher temperature when you are away and lower it to 78°F (26°C) when you are at home and want to keep cool. A programmable thermostat can help you regulate settings.
- Review Energy.gov’s ENERGY STAR guidelines for programmable thermostats at https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/programmable_thermostats
- 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.
Use Fans and Ventilation to Cool Your Home
- Make sure you have ENERGY STAR ceiling fans and ventilating fans.
- A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F if you use air conditioning. This will save on energy without sacrificing your comfort.
- Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Fans don’t cool rooms, they just cool people.
- Use your bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity when you shower or bathe. The laundry room should also be ventilated. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans vent to the outside.
Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Runs Efficiently
- Schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning unit.
- Avoid placing appliances like lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. It will sense heat from them, which can cause your air conditioner to run longer.
- Keep furniture and other objects from blocking the airflow through your registers.
- Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup in your air conditioner.
Minimize Heat from Appliances and Lighting
- On hot days, avoid using your oven, which generates a tremendous amount of heat. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
- Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting to illuminate your home.
- On hot days, minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as dishwashers, washing machines and hot devices such as hair dryers.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). Water heating accounts for about 18% of the energy in your home, so reducing the temperature will save energy.
Prevent Hot Air from Leaking into Your Home
- Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
- Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.