Posted by: realtormarkpalace | June 23, 2011

Summer Energy Tips

Summer Energy Tips

For big savings this summer, develop good energy saving habits. Savings can come from little changes in behavior and habits. Top on any list: Proper handling of the air conditioning thermostat. Here’s a quick review of low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy and money.
Cool your house to 78 degrees or your highest comfortable temperature when you are there and set to 80-83 degrees when you’re away. In summer, higher thermostat settings cost less; lower settings cost more. Set your thermostat carefully! Research on Florida homes showed that summer AC cost increases 12% for each degree the thermostat is lowered below 80 degrees.

Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day (all directions).

Don’t try to speed-cool at a very low temperature setting when you arrive home from work or school. Choose your normal evening setting, for example 78 degrees. Your AC cools just as fast set at 78 degrees as it does at 68 degrees.

If you have ceiling fans, run the fans and the air conditioner at the same time but set the air conditioner 2 or 3 degrees higher. You’ll feel just as cool, but your overall cooling cost will be 20-30% lower!

Use a microwave instead of the range/oven. A microwave doesn’t heat the kitchen.

Keep windows and doors closed while air conditioning.

Change the air conditioner’s air filter monthly during heavy use. When it’s clogged, airflow is restricted — cooling costs rise, and your system may eventually suffer a compressor failure with a $2,000+ repair bill!

Bulk up your ceiling insulation. Call Energy Services for ceiling insulation grants that pay 80% of the cost, up to $400 (or 100% of the cost up to $500 for income-qualified customers). The highest recommended level for our region is “R38” (38 R-values) or about 15 inches depth of the newer kinds of blown white fiberglass insulation. A good protective layer of ceiling insulation prevents heat from moving inward in summer and holds heat inside in winter.

Vent the clothes dryer to the out-of-doors. Otherwise it pours heat and moisture into the house air.

If your dryer has an automatic cycle, use it. Over-drying wastes energy and wears out your clothes.

Clean the dryer lint filter screen frequently and check the outdoor vent opening.

Seal air leaks around doors and windows. Use caulk and weather-stripping.

Check for air duct leaks, or disconnected ducts. Duct leaks in the attic or under the house can double your cooling cost.

Close your fireplace damper!

Always set the AC thermostat FAN selection to “AUTO”, never to “ON”. This is important: On AUTO, humidity is kept lower, costs are much lower and comfort is higher.

Keep up the habit of turning off lights as you leave a room, especially in summer. Lights add a lot of heat to the room. Better yet, change out to CFL’s that use a lot less energy and produce less heat.

Consider a pool pump timer. Pool pumping 24 hours/day with a 3/4 horsepower pump motor can cost nearly $80/month at current electric rates. A timer is well worth its installed cost.

Consider removing that old refridgerator or freezer out of the garage. These normally low effiency units burn a lot of energy in the hot garage.

Use a clothesline.

Keep all air conditioning supply air registers open. Don’t close off rooms or registers. That doesn’t save money, and it may lead to costly problems.

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