Monday, July 12, 2010

15 Ways to Save on Energy Costs This Summer

Summer time is one of the most expensive seasons when it comes to energy costs. No two summers are ever the same. This summer has turned out to be a hot one. Many people who are without air conditioning are making frequent trips to the doctor and emergency room from heat exhaustion, dehydration and dizziness. Even if you stay in doors you can still get dehydrated by not drinking enough fluids. Besides trying to keep your body cool, you also need to keep your home and car cool. If you don't have air conditioning in your car try to get it. This helps keep your body temperature cool and prevents accident due to heat stroke when driving.

Another way to stay cool is by doing periodic checks on your air conditioning in your home or condo to make sure it is working properly. Nothing is more miserable than being in a hot home. Here are 15 ways to save on energy costs this summer and stay cool.

1. Limit use of the oven. Using the oven in the summer time will make it harder to keep your home cool. Try cooking on top of the oven to save money on electricity. There are tons of recipes that help you prepare foods normally cooked in the oven on top of the oven.

2. Microwave. Limit the use of the microwave. Food loses its taste and nutrients when cooked or warmed up in the microwave. Purchase a portable grill such as the George Foreman grill or similar devices which reduces the amount of time it takes to cook food.

3. Dryer. Try drying clothes using full loads or air drying clothes to save money.

4. Electronics. Turn off all electronics when not in use. A color television uses 100-300 kilowatts per year. If you have multiple televisions in your home this adds up in electricity costs. If you are out of the room for more than 20 minutes turn off all electronics.

5. Computers. You can turn off your computer when not in use or leave it in standby mode. Energy Star has free energy efficient programs for computers that will help reduce energy usage.

6. Thermostat. Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees F. Don't adjust the air conditioner to try and cool off your home faster because this only uses more energy. If you need additional cooling use a portable fan or ceiling fans. Don't place lamps, televisions or computers near your thermostat. The thermostat can sense the heating coming from the appliances and will run longer than necessary.

7. Blinds. Keep blinds and curtains closed during the summer to block the sun rays coming into your home. When the sun goes down, open your windows to cool your home naturally. Turn your air conditioner thermostat down during this time. Once the outside temperature starts to rise again adjust your thermostat to keep your home cool.

8. Lights. Don't turn lights on if your home gets natural sunlight. Keeping lights off also keeps your home cool. Turn lights on only when necessary but don't sit in the dark unless you really want to.

9. Plant trees. Plant shade trees in your yard to help save on energy costs.

10. Insulate. Seal any leaks or cracks around and inside your home and insulate your attic floor.

11. Windows. Install storm windows to save on energy costs.

12. Garbage Disposal. Run cold water in your garbage disposal which helps get rid of grease.

13. Appliances. Buy energy efficient appliances and light bulbs to save on energy costs.

14. Refrigerator. Keep your refrigerator at 38 - 40 degrees F. Keep your freezer at 5 degrees F.

15. Washing clothes. Wash clothes in warm or cold water and rinse in cold water. Warm or cold water gets whites just as clean as hot water.


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