As energy prices sour, everyone is looking for ways to save money and be more frugal. Here are ten easy steps you can take to reduce your home energy costs during the warm summer months.
1.Turn your thermostat up. If you are gone or working during the day, raise the air conditioning setting by 5-10 degrees. Better yet, invest in a digital programmable thermostat.
2.Replace your furnace filter monthly. A dirty filter makes the furnace work that much harder. Schedule routine preventive maintenance and cleaning of your furnace and air conditioner by a professional at least once a year.
3.Run a dehumidifier during hot humid weather, especially if you have a basement.
4.If you have ceiling fans, adjust the fan blades to push air down in the summer. This helps re-circulate the warm air that rises near the ceiling.
5.If you have a two- story house, check that the cold air vents on the second floor are closed in the summer. This help keeps the upstairs cooler.
6.Close your blinds and curtains on warm sunny days. Plant shade trees on the south exposure of your property.
7.Hang clothes outside to dry on nice breezy days instead of using the clothes dryer.
8.On very hot humid days it is better to keep the house closed up than to open the windows. It will take more energy to cool the house back down.
9.If the weather is comfortable, open the windows and get some fresh air. You can also run the furnace on “fan” only without the air conditioning. The furnace fan will circulate the air through without using the A/C.
10.Check into a co-op at the start of the summer season. You may be able to buy electricity at a fixed (reduced) price. Go on an electric utility budget plan. The utility company will average your payments out over 12 months, so you won’t get stuck with such high summer bills.
Do you have any other tips to share? I have replaced 2 kitchen bulbs with compact fluourescent light bulbs. So far I am not that thrilled with them. When you turn on the switch it takes a few seconds for the bulb to completely warm up. Also I'm not sure how you are supposed to dispose of them since they contain mercury.