Just as you can cut back on driving to save fuel, you also can limit the amount of electricity you use at home by cutting excess. Here are eight ways to reduce your energy consumption this summer.
- Replace your old manual thermostat with a programmable model. New thermostats have automatic settings that can change indoor temperatures at strategic times of the day. If you come and go on a regular basis, you can program your thermostat to raise the temperature when you’re not home and lower the temperature again just before you return.
- Schedule a tuneup for your air conditioning system. A licensed technician will check the refrigerant level and determine whether any parts are wearing out or running inefficiently. A well-maintained system will operate more efficiently.
- Close the blinds when direct sunlight hits your windows. The less sun that shines into your home, the cooler it will remain, saving your air conditioning system from working harder.
- Run your dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer after dark. Most people run these appliances during the day, so demand for electricity soars. Doing chores, particularly ones that produce heat, at night helps lower your electric cooperative’s overall peak use, which helps keep costs low for everyone.
- Better yet, air-dry your laundry. Hang clothes outside on a clothesline when the weather is nice.
- Turn off lights and unplug computers, TVs and phone chargers when not in use. Don’t waste electricity by allowing your appliances to use power when they shouldn’t.
- Replace incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs, which use less energy, last longer and emit less heat.
- Shop smart. If you’re replacing any of your home’s appliances this summer, choose Energy Star-rated models. They’re guaranteed to be more energy efficient than appliances that don’t qualify for the label.