The List: 10 Tips to Save Energy During Hot Weather From the BPU

Tom Johnson | July 7, 2014 | The List
Just because the temperature is soaring doesn't mean your energy bills have to follow suit
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1. Beat the heat and save on bills

Keeping your blinds and curtains closed during the day will block out unwanted heat, which means your air conditioner works less and saves energy. Energy Star appliances can reduce overall energy use and costs by up to 30 percent.

2. Cook wisely

Instead of using the oven or stovetop, you can save on cooling your house by reducing the heat in your home. Cook outside as much as possible. Not only does this keep your home from overheating, it prevents your air conditioner from working overtime.

3. Mind the temperature

Use less hot water and/or decrease the temperature of your hot water for showers, washing machine, and dishwasher. And only run machines that have full loads. Also, adjust the thermostat to 76 degrees to 78 degrees to keep cool and avoid high electric bills.

4. Maintain the appliances that you have

Get your appliances checked for energy efficiency annually and change your air filters regularly. Replace old appliances, including room air conditioners with energy-efficient options. That will help ensure that your home is running as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

5. Maintain a constant temperature in the refrigerator

Set the refrigerator temperature between 36 degrees and 38 degrees for maximum effectiveness. The freezer should be kept at 15 degrees.

6. Reset your thermostat

Lower the heating-system set point in winter and increase the set point for your central air conditioning in summer.

7. Wash your laundry in cold water whenever possible

Depending on the clothing and local water quality, you may be able to do laundry exclusively with cold water using cold water detergents. An average household with an electric water heater can save $400 a year, or $300 annually with a gas heater.

8. Air dry your dishes

Are energy and cash drying up during the dry cycle? If there’s no off switch for your dishwasher’s drying cycle, just open the door when the cycle starts. You can save as much as $25 per year on your electricity bill.

9. Recycle your old stuff

Get rid of old, inefficient, energy-sapping appliances, including room air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezer and replace them with high-efficiency models.

Organize the fridge wisely

Place the most-used items in one place so that the door will be open for a shorter period of time.