Some parts of the U.S. are already experiencing summertime weather, so it’s a good time to discuss a few ways to not only conserve energy and help keep the power grid operating, but also to save yourself some money. Here are nine tips that can help you enjoy the hot weather without sweating the power bill.
Turn up the thermostat. If you have central air you will save 1-3 percent on your electric bill for every degree above 72 you keep your home. The California Energy Commission recommends you set your thermostat at 78 when you are home and 85 when you’re gone. Also, ceiling fans require a lot less energy than air conditioners, so use them to cool the air.
Fill your refrigerator. If the fridge is full it won’t warm up too fast when you open the door.
Be a smart clothes and dish washer. Use warm or cold water on your clothes and hang your clothes from a line to dry, if you can. If you do use the dryer, fill it. And clean the lint trap. For dishes use the dishwasher because it’s more efficient than washing by hand. Let your dishes air dry. Run the dryer and dishwasher at night to not only keep your house from getting too hot in the day, but to reduce demand during peak energy hours.
Clean or replace your heating and air conditioning filters each month. Pacific Power recommends you get a tune up for your air conditioner as well.
Keep the blinds and windows closed during the day and open at night.
Plug your appliances into power strips and turn them off when they are not in use. This has little to do with the temperature in the house, but it can make a small difference in demand on the power grid.
Keep your TV and lamps away from the thermostat, because their heat will create false, hotter temperature readings and make your air conditioner kick on sooner than it needs to.
Cook fast. The microwave is the most efficient cooker in the house and throws off the least amount of heat. If you need to use the stove or oven, however, do your best to finish cooking as quickly as possible. If you’ve got a barbecue grill outside, find every excuse possible to use it.
Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows. If your house is porous you’ll be inviting the heat in and air conditioning the great outdoors. Look at the tops and bottoms of your doors, too, to see if you can stop the air from traveling when you don’t want it to.
These are just a few ideas that do save energy, but also save you money. Practicing these tips will help you stay cool enough during the hot summer days, but also when you open your power bill.