Sunday, September 19, 2010

Last Minute Summer Energy Savers

Labor Day usually signals that summer is coming to an end. Temperatures start to drop and children are back in school getting homework assignments and writing reports. This summer however is a little different.

Temperatures are still in the 80-90's and appear to stay that way for the next few weeks which is not good news for homeowners and their electricity and cooling costs. Here are 8 quick tips to save money in the last few weeks of summer which can help offset some of the high energy bills we paid during this hot summer.

1. Appliances. Limit the use of 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. Try drying clothes using full loads or air drying clothes to save money. Buy energy efficient appliances and light bulbs to save on energy costs. Wash clothes in warm or cold water and rinse in cold water.

2. Electronics. Turn off all electronics and appliances when not in use. If you have multiple televisions in your home this adds up in electricity costs when running them at the same time. If you are out of the room for more than 20 minutes turn off all electronics.

3. Computers. 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.

4. Oven cooking. Using the oven when it's hot outside will make it harder to keep your home cool. Try cooking on top of the oven to save money on electricity.

5. Thermostat. Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees F and keep it there. 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.

6. 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.

7. Insulate. Seal any cracks or leaks around and inside your home and insulate your attic floor. Install storm windows to save on energy costs.

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

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