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Save some money, and the environment, with these easy and free conservation tips!
Warm Weather Energy Saving Tips

Hot Weather: Tips to Save Energy 

  • Beat the heat and save on bills. Keeping your blinds and curtains closed during the day will block out unwanted heat, meaning your air conditioner works less and saves energy. Energy Star appliances can reduce overall energy use and costs by up to 30%.
  • Cook wisely. Instead of using the oven or stovetop, in the summer you can save on cooling your house by reducing the heat in your hoom. Cook outside as much as possible. Not only does this keep your home from overheating, it prevents your air conditioner from working overtime!
  • Mind the temperature. Use less hot water and/or decrease the temperature of your hot water for showers, washing machine, and dishwasher – only run machines that have full loads. Also, adjust the thermostat to 76-78 degrees to keep cool and avoid high electric bills.
  • Maintain the appliances 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. This will help to ensure that your home is running as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
  • Recycle your old stuff. Get rid of old, inefficient, energy-sapping appliances (refrigerator, freezer, air conditioner, oven, etc.) and replace them with high efficiency models.

    Use a portable or ceiling fan to circulate the pre-cooled air in your air conditioned home. A fan uses about 90 percent less energy than an air conditioner.

    Adjust the air conditioner’s fan to a low setting. It’ll take longer for the air conditioner to cool your home, but your unit will bring in steamy air at a slower rate and make you feel more comfortable.

    Maintain a constant temperature in the refrigerator of between 36 and 38 degrees for maximum effectiveness. The freezer should be kept at 15 degrees.

    Cover liquid items. They give off humidity that forces the refrigerator to use more energy.

    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.

     

For American Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Information, please see the Red Cross Safety Checklist 

Electricity
Reset Your Thermostat- Lower the heating system set point in winter and increase the set going in summer for your central air conditioning systems.
-This winter try 60 at night, 68 while you are home.

Weatherize-The late start of the winter has given us some extra time to weatherize our homes in preparation for the worst of the winter. Take the opportunity to install your storm windows-they reduce heat loss through windows by 25 to 50%.

Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately.
- Depending on the clothes and local water quality (hardness), many homeowners can effectively do laundry exclusively with cold water, using cold water laundry detergents like Tide. Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $400 annually (with an electric water heater) and more than $300 annually (with a gas water heater).
-Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year. 

Air dry your dishes-Is energy and cash drying up due to the dry cycle? If there's no off switch for your dishwasher's drying cycle, just open the door when the cycle starts. Save 15%-50% of dishwasher energy usage. Save as much as $25 per year on your electricity bill.

Change a Light: CFLs are more expensive off the shelf, but by replacing a 100-watt bulb with its CFL equivalent, you’ll save $100+ in electricity costs over the lifetime of each bulb. -Incandescents are energy black holes - only 10% of the energy they use is converted to light; the rest is turned into heat.
-Most lights suck energy and then they die. Not CFLs - they’ll last up to 15 times longer than your average incandescent. Meaning you’ll spend less time changing bulbs, and more time counting all the cash you’ve saved.

Cleanout your dryer’s lint filter - it’s an easy way to save energy, cash, and reduce fire hazard. Increase dryer efficiency, and decrease dryer energy usage by up to 30%. Every American household spends up to $135/year in energy costs drying clothes.
-Cleaning out the lint filter could save up to $40/year. 
-Stop dryer fires before they start.
Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to reduce our demand for water.
  1. Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass. If it springs back, when you lift your foot, it doesn't need water. So set your sprinklers for more days in between watering. Saves 750-1,500 gallons per month. Better yet, especially in times of drought, water with a hose.
  2. Fix leaky faucets and plumbing joints. Saves 20 gallons per day for every leak stopped.
  3. Don't run the hose while washing your car. Use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse at the end. Saves 150 gallons each time. For a two-car family that's up to 1,200 gallons a month.
  4. Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. Saves 500 to 800 gallons per month.
  5. Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. Saves 300 to 800 gallons per month.
  6. Shorten your showers. Even a one or two minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons per month.
  7. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. Saves 150 gallons or more each time. At once a week, that's more than 600 gallons a month.
  8. Don't use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Saves 400 to 600 gallons per month.
  9. Capture tap water. While you wait for hot water to come down the pipes, catch the flow in a watering can to use later on house plants or your garden. Saves 200 to 300 gallons per month.
  10. Don't water the sidewalks, driveway or gutter. Adjust your sprinklers so that water lands on your lawn or garden where it belongs--and only there. Saves 500 gallons per month.
photo -kids washing car
Summer outdoor water use increases as people wash cars, fill pools, and water lawns and gardens.