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Energy Efficient Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

By NOPEC on August 19, 2019

Break out the pool floats, slip on some sandals, and fire up the grill—it’s summertime in Northeast Ohio. While this time of year brings long, sunshine-filled days, it also brings energy costs that seem to rise with the temperature. Want to beat the heat? Try these six energy-saving tips for summer.

Tune Up Your Air Conditioning 

Scheduling regular professional maintenance for your air conditioning unit can help maximize its efficiency while keeping costs down. The U.S. Department of Energy says replacing a dirty, clogged AC unit filter can save 5 to 15 percent in energy use. It also can help increase the longevity of your unit, saving you even more money on replacement down the road.

Adjust Your Thermostat

With the high heat and humidity, it’s too easy to want to crank up the air conditioning to stay cool during the summer months. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the easiest ways to see your energy bill spike. If you “can’t live without air conditioning,” try to keep your thermostat at a temperature just cool enough to keep you comfortable. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recommends setting your thermostat at 78⁰F and supplementing it with fans. For each degree you raise your thermostat, the ACEEE says you can save 3 to 5 percent on air conditioning costs.

Opt for Fans

Compared to air conditioning, ceiling and standing fans offer a more energy-efficient solution. Fans use a tiny fraction of the energy used by air conditioners, saving you big money on your energy bill. Set your fan to run counterclockwise so cold air is pushed toward you. The Department of Energy says this can allow you to adjust your thermostat about 4⁰F without sacrificing your comfort.

Close Doors and Vents

Don’t waste energy cooling rooms that aren’t in use. To be more energy-efficient, close doors and air conditioning vents in rooms that aren’t occupied. This way, your air conditioning unit can focus on cooling the rooms that are in use, rather than working harder to keep your entire house cool.

Use Windows to Stay Cool

In Northeast Ohio, where summer nights tend to cool off, turning your air conditioner off and opening the windows can be a great way to save energy and lower your energy bill. By doing so, you’ll let the cool air in and the hot air out, so your cooling system won’t have to work as hard. During the day, keeping your blinds drawn and windows closed can help keep the sun from warming up your house. Be sure to seal your windows and doors shut, so cold air can’t escape, either.

Plant Trees and Shrubs

You know that feeling when you walk under a shady tree on a hot summer day? No matter how it may be outside, shaded areas can be as much as 25⁰ cooler, according to the Department of Energy. Got a green thumb? Using this logic, planting Deciduous trees (those that lose leaves in autumn) near South, East, and West-facing windows, or at least over your outdoor air conditioning unit, is a great way to be more energy efficient. 

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Tags: NOPEC, Energy Efficiency
Categories: Energy Efficiency

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