If you want to keep your home comfortably cool while saving energy dollars during the warm months, here’s an idea: don’t add extra heat in your home. In practical terms, that means:
- Use your microwave or counter-top appliances for cooking chores instead of your oven or stove. Better yet, grill some burgers outdoors.
- Run your dryer and dishwasher at night instead of the day. Or let your clothes and dishes air dry. Also, wash only full loads.
- Keep out heat from the sun by keeping drapes, blinds and shades closed during the hottest parts of the day.
- After a shower or bath, use the bathroom fan to remove heat and humidity. Better to take short showers instead of baths.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. Each degree above 78 can save 6-7 percent off cooling costs. Also, don’t try to cool faster by setting a thermostat colder than normal. It won’t help and could result in added energy expenses and/or cause stress to the unit.
- Install a programmable thermostat to save energy while you’re away and comfortable while home.
- Ceiling fans will create a cool breeze and keep air circulating in the home and, the Department of Energy says, will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without reducing comfort.
- Replacing an aging central air conditioning with a new Energy Star qualified model can reduce cooling costs by 20 percent.
To see how much you can save check out this Energy Savings Calculator. It will show you the difference between an old lower efficiency model versus a new higher efficiency heating and cooling system.