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How to conserve energy during hot summer days

The cost of everything is rising and electricity is no different. Couple that fact with extreme heat and you’re going to be looking at very high energy bills this summer.  To help consumers reduce their home energy bills and help our nation reduce overall energy use, the U.S. Department of Energy offers these useful tips during the hot days of summer.

  • Use window coverings like black-out drapes to prevent heat gain through your windows during the day.
  • Keep drapes closed and shades drawn.
  • Clothes dryers and dishwashers produce a lot of heat. Use them early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Use only lights and appliances you really need.
  • Set your thermostat at a temperature you find comfortable and that provides humidity control. 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 when you return home and need cooling.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you first turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
  • 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 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 and not just to the attic.
  • Perform or schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
  • Avoid placing lamps or TVs near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  • Vacuum your air intake vents regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
  • Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks around doors and windows.
  • To reduce energy use, avoid using your oven. Use the microwave or a grill. Not only will it eliminate the electricity used to power the stove, but it will also avoid raising the temperature inside your home, reducing the need for air conditioning or cooling.
  • While the impact of these small individual actions may seem insignificant, every little bit helps to add up to greater electricity and cost savings.