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Simple and inexpensive actions can help you save energy and money during the warm spring and summer months. | Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/eyedias.
Here you'll find strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer when the weather is warm and you are trying to keep your home cool. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the spring and summer. For more ways to stay cool while saving energy, check out our Energy Saver 101 infographic, covering everything you need to know about home cooling.
If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most.
USE YOUR WINDOWS TO GAIN COOL AIR AND KEEP OUT HEAT
If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
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.
USE FANS AND VENTILATION STRATEGIES TO COOL YOUR HOME
If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).
Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.