During summer, you want to keep your home cool, but you don’t want your energy bill to be too high. Here are some simple and inexpensive strategies that can help you keep energy costs down daily throughout the hottest season.
Cool Your Home with Fans and Ventilation
- Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Fans don’t cool rooms, they just cool people.
- 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.
Reduce Heat from Lighting and Appliances
- 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.
- 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.
Keep Hot Air Out of 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.
Keep Air Cool with Efficient Window Use
- Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.
- Consider window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
- 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.
Regulate Your Thermostat
- Review Energy.gov’s ENERGY STAR guidelines for programmable thermostats at https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/programmable_thermostats
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Maintain Your Air Conditioner
- Keep furniture and other objects from blocking the airflow through your registers.
- Use vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup in your air conditioner.
- 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.
- Schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioning unit.