Green Living

Seven Ideas To Save Energy and Money During Hot Weather

As the mercury rises in the thermometer, so does the total on your monthly electric bill. Electricity use increases on hot, humid days as customers use more energy to cool their homes and businesses. While there’s not much we can do to change the weather, here are some ideas that will help you stay cool and save money at the same time:

  • Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Simply drawing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat gain to your apartment or home.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lighting and appliances. For example, turning off your desktop computer and monitor for two additional hours per day could reduce your annual electric consumption by up to 1.5 percent.
  • Raising your air conditioner thermostat by five degrees could save you up to 1 percent on your annual electric bill. Also, use programmable thermostats, timers for indoor and outdoor lights and other automated devices to further reduce energy use.
  • Changing your central air conditioner air filter monthly could save you up to 2 percent on your annual electric bill.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes and do so during cooler times of the day.
  • Also, use a microwave to cook instead of an oven, or barbecue outside, if possible.
  • Look for an ENERGY STAR(R) label when replacing or installing ceiling fans, window air conditioners or refrigerators. For example, replacing your old refrigerator with a new unit could save up to 7 percent on overall electric use.

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