Stay Cool and Be Energy Efficient
Photo: © A_teen - iStockPhoto
Energy use peaks during the year's hottest months. Americans spend billions of dollars annually just to cool down their homes. If you would like to save money and reduce your carbon footprint, consider the eco-friendly ideas below.
Keep Cool with Fans
Position a portable fan across from a window to create a cross breeze. Not all fans are created equal, however; so be mindful of how much energy each model uses if you are in the market for a new fan. Some ceiling fans use ten watts while others use up to 100 watts. A window fan can use as many as 200 watts. For a more portable option, there are standing "blade-less" fans that use as little as one watt of power. In contrast, air conditioners use 2,000 to 8,000 watts, with portable air conditioners being at the higher end of the range.
Be Smart about Your AC Usage
Program the AC to turn on shortly before you return home so the house is cooled down before you step through the doorway. You can save even more energy by programming the AC to shut off once the room cools down to a specific temperature. Additionally, you can alternate between using an air conditioner and using a fan.
Keep the Heat Outside
Incorporate these small actions into your daily routine to keep the heat outside your home:
• Only use the oven, dryer, or dishwasher during the coolest hours of the day.
• Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs); they release less heat than incandescent light bulbs.
• Use heavy curtains and keep them drawn in rooms that receive the most direct sunlight.
• Inspect your doorframes, window frames, and outlets for cracks, because any cold air in the house can escape through these cracks.
By implementing one of these suggestions or combining a few of them, you can easily save money when cooling your home during the warmest months.