Sticky summer heat means that air conditioning units get a workout. Be smart about your energy use to save money (and maybe save the planet, too!).
1 | Close doors and windows
Everyone knows you should close your windows when you switch on the A/C, but did you ever think to cool a single room? Save energy by air conditioning just the room you’re using. For example, at night you may want to cool only the bedroom.
2 | Put on some shades
Covering windows with blinds or curtains during the day keeps the heat of the sun from warming your house.
3 | Have a BBQ
On hot summer days, keep the heat outside by cooking on the grill. If you want to cook inside, stick to the stovetop or microwave (not the oven).
4 | Take advantage of nighttime breezes
On cooler summer nights, turn off the A/C and get free air conditioning by placing fans in windows to circulate air. Tight-fitting box-style fans are more efficient, but any fan can help circulate air.
5 | Install a programmable thermostat
Although a programmable thermostat has an up-front cost, being able to program temperatures for times when you’re away saves money in both summer and winter. In the summer, set the temperature for 78 degrees when you’re gone.
6 | Tune it up
Make sure your central air conditioning unit is working as efficiently as possible by scheduling a tune-up. And get out the vacuum to keep the vents clean, too.
7 | Cash in on a rebate
If you don’t already have one, this week’s heat may have you considering the purchase of a whole-house central air conditioning unit. Check out whether you qualify for a rebate on a high-efficiency model. For example, Xcel Energy offers rebates on some models.