Although I rarely take the time these days to read through a lot of magazines, I always make an exception for the local electric cooperative's monthly magazine, which is always chock full of helpful tips, local event and travel information and other items of interest.
This month's issue was no exception; I thought the "Watch Your Watts" section was particularly helpful for those folks trying to save on their energy costs while also staying as cool as possible when the temperatures soar.
While I don't adhere to their advice to raise your thermostat to 78 degrees (I cannot live like that), that's what they recommend. They say if you're away from home for more than 8 hours, you can see up to a 3% savings on cooling costs for each degree raised.
By the way, did you know it is a MYTH that keeping the A/C at a lower temp all throughout the day means it does not have to run harder when you get home? I had an HVAC service guy tell me that just recently, too. Yep, you can save energy by setting your thermostat a little higher when you are gone from the house. I had always heard you should leave it at the same temp, too, but it turns out that's just not true.
Here are some additional tips on saving energy this summer while staying cool:
- Keep shades closed when a/c is on. Keep that heat out by covering those windows and it can really improve your comfort level while saving energy.
- Check and clean filters. Clean or replace monthly for the best efficiency.
- Clear attic vents. Be sure your attic fan, if you have one, is working properly.
- Install ceiling fans - and make sure they are blowing DOWN. Did you know the use of ceiling fans can mean savings of around 25% on cooling costs and even better, make the temperature seem 10 degrees cooler? They are a huge help - but be sure they are going in the right direction for the season.
- Delay use of appliances requiring hot water and large energy use - like washing clothes or dishes - to early morning or early evening. This will reduce adding more heat ahd humidity during the hottest part of the day.
- Use cold water to wash clothes. Okay, I admit the coop suggested using cold water to also wash dishes, but yuck, I cannot go there.
- Avoid using the stove if possible. Hurray! Yes, this is one tip I embrace wholeheartedly - grill outside instead!
- Unplug equipment not in use. Did you know that even when not in use, appliances still use power and produce heat? Yep, it's true, so unplug anything you are using and save a few pennies.
- Turn off lights. If you grew up in a house with energy-conscious parents, you do this without even thinking about it. Turns the lights off when exiting a room.
So, there you have it - a few helpful hints for keeping your house cooler and your energy bill under control in the hot summer months.
Many thanks to Northern Neck Electric Coooperative Living magazine for all the great info.
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