The weather is getting warmer; it's time to pull out the grill, call the pool cleaner back, and get those gardening tools out of the basement. It's spring! But spring also means it's time to look at how you can save the most energy and the most money.
Many Ways to Save
A lot of people can tolerate cold weather better than hot weather, which means, as the weather gets warmer and warmer, it will become increasingly difficult to fight the impulse to turn on the air conditioning and leave it on for hours. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help keep your home cool without running up your energy bill.
- Take it easy on the thermostat:
- Set the temperature as high as you can while still being comfortable. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your bill will be.
- Keep the house warmer than usual when you are away, cool when you get home. Set “Away” and “Home” temperatures easily with a programmable thermostat.
- Keep in mind: Your house will not cool any faster if you set the thermostat to a colder temperature than usual. In fact, this will likely result in unnecessary expense and excessive strain on the cooling system.
- Prevent heat from getting in through the windows by installing window coverings such as blinds (interior and/or exterior), awnings, high-reflective films, draperies, shades, insulated panels, and shutters.
- If you live in an area where it cools off at night, turn of your air conditioning and open your windows while you sleep. When you wake up, shut the windows and blinds to keep the cool air in, unless there's still a cool breeze. You can still get some good cool air into the house in the early morning before the sun starts hitting your house/yard.
- By using your ceiling fans in combination with air conditioning, you can actually set the thermostat four degrees higher but remember that fans cool people, not rooms. If you leave a room, turn off the fan.
- Turn on your bathroom fan when taking a shower or bath to remove the humidity and heat.
- Your water heater uses 18 percent of your home's energy-use. Turn the temperature down to 120 degrees F.
- Using the oven on hot days will make the house warmer and subsequently more difficult to cool. Stick to the stove, microwave, or grill outside.
- Minimize using a computer or TV, running the dishwasher, or using hot devices like hair dryers.
- Install efficient lighting that doesn't release much heat.
- Seal cracks to keep warm out from leaking into the house.
- Add weatherstripping or caulk to seal leaky windows and doors.