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Ideas on Saving Energy This Summer

Quick and easy ideas for energy saving techniques around the home during the hot summer months.

Here are some quick and easy techniques to help you conserve more energy, lessen your expenses, and gain control over your household’s energy usage during the hot summer months.

Cooling

1. Purchase a thermostat capable of “time of day” and temperature settings. Then set it to the highest “comfortable” temperature. When you’ll be home, set the temperature of the thermostat at or around 75 degrees. When you will be away or asleep raise the temperature to 80 degrees. Please note that it is not advisable to extend the range between the high and low settings more than five degrees. The energy and time needed to lower the temperature will offset most of the savings. But that does not apply if you are going away for an extended period of time. If you have room ceiling fans, you may wish to set the thermostat at a higher temperature since the air movement will make the room cooler.

2. To make your air-conditioners work more efficiently, replace their filters monthly. Dirty filters merely restrict airflow, reduce the unit’s efficiency, forces the unit to work harder to pull air through the “reduced” intake, and increase energy consumption.

3. Consider installing a whole house fan in your attic. This will force hot air out through the vents and draw cool air into your house. For optimal benefit, use the fan during the early morning and after sundown when the temperature outside is less than 80 degrees.

Laundry

1. Make sure that you double-check the water level in your washing machine in accordance to the load size, especially when the clothes require that you use hot or warm water. When rinsing, always use cold water. Today’s detergents are made to clean all types of clothing using cold water.

2. When drying your clothes, it would be more energy-efficient to line-dry them rather than use a spin dryer. But that’s not always a viable option. When you use the dryer, put a full load with the moisture sensor on so that your clothes won’t get over-dried. After each use, make sure that you clean the lint trap. The dryer’s exhaust duct should be cleaned annually. And make sure there are no kinks or obstructions. If the dryer cannot vent the hot air the temperature in the dryer is actually reduced. You will notice longer dry times. This is also a very important safety issue. So make this a priority.

Kitchen

1. Fill up your refrigerator. If there’s a lot of food in the fridge, it won’t warm up too fast especially when the door is opened. The cold objects actually become conductors and help to cool the other items so your refrigerator won’t have to work so hard to remain cool.

2. Surprisingly, the dishwasher consumes less water than washing by hand. Use your dishwasher only when it has been fully loaded. And consider the option to air-dry your dishes for even more energy conservation.

Water Heater

Purchase a blanket for your hot water heater. Use pipe insulation on the outgoing hot water pipe as far as its visible. Both of these items can be installed without any tools. Then lower the temperature setting by a notch. If you are like me, you take hotter showers in cold weather so lowering the tank temperature will save energy without impacting the usage in showers and cleaning.

Bathing

Test if your shower-head is efficient. Place a bucket under the shower. Turn on the shower and time how long it takes to fill one gallon of water. If it takes quicker than 24 seconds, then your shower-head is not water-efficient since its water flow is faster than the recommended 2.5 gallons every minute. And save that bucket of water to flush the toilet– a common practice in the Keys of Florida(but that’s a story for another day).

All of the above tips are designed to aid you in choosing the most applicable ways of reducing your energy bills. Some of them may not be relevant depending on the age of your appliances, climate, and home improvements made in the past. But you have already made the commitment to save energy, so consider the next steps for even more energy conservation and savings.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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