Eco-Living Magazine

Energy Efficiency Tips for the Summer

Posted on the 08 July 2011 by Derick Ajumni
The saying goes 'be careful for what you wish for; you might just get it'. Well-O-well, I can say that’s just what most residents in Central Massachusetts are getting. After the very harsh winter we experienced, everybody must have wished for warm weather to come around as soon as possible. The weather has really been good since April, and I know we are all loving it.With sweltering temperatures such as these, some of us like to keep houses comfortable and cool - hence running the air conditioner for long hours. This directly increases the energy bill say for a normal family home to more than $150.00 depending on the region. This figure also depends on the number of AC units turned on at a specific time and how much time is spent at home. For those who work from their homes for example, this figure may be a little higher. Using an energy efficient AC unit such an 'Energy Star' rated model; may help reduce your cost while helping the environment - but carrying out common practices may even help stretch the dollar even further. Here are some simple energy effective ideas for us this summer:Energy Efficiency Tips for the Summer1) Install AC unit in the shade: Its often unpredictable which side of the home will be shaded. There are variables like a neighbors tree, a new fence or highway etc that may provide shade. But if your AC could be installed in the shade, it will perform better due to reduction on its work load because of no extra external heat. Energy Efficiency Tips for the Summer2) Use your ceiling fans: If you have ceiling fans, it would be a good idea to turn them on at the same time your AC is running…'Yes!'…at the same time. This may sound counter-productive but the idea is to raise the temperature around your AC making it function better, plus the ceiling fan will leave you dry and comfortable. The EPA estimates that a reduction of 14% can be incurred by raising the temperature around your running AC by only 2 degrees.Energy Efficiency Tips for the Summer3) Use your Microwave instead: Using your microwave to warm up your food can help save as much as 80% of cooking energy according to Energy Star. Plus, the stove is a Hugh heat generator, it'd be great to use the grill for cooking as it will keep most or all the heat outdoors, thus conserving energy.Energy Efficiency Tips for the Summer4) Use a programmable thermostat: Automatically setting your thermostat to a higher temperature between 75 - 80 for example; when not at home can save you up to $180.00 according to Energy Star.5) Chores: Try as much as possible to time your chores in a way that would avoid the premium charge during peak hours of the day. You  can for example run your dish washer and or washing machines during the early morning hours or late evenings.Please leave a comment with more tips and tricks that can help us reduce energy consumption during the summer.

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