Friday, 29 June, 2007 2:14 PM
Don't Sweat Your Summer Energy
List offers ways to cut your costs this summer
Keeping your cool during
the summer heat can be expensive. Electricity prices normally go
up in the summer, as people do their best to beat the heat by cranking
“You can save energy this summer and still stay cool in your
home without breaking the bank,” says Angie Hicks, founder
of Angie’s List. “Changing a few energy-wasting habits
can cut your energy bill by as much as 40 percent.”
Angie recommends trying these tips to easily and comfortably lighten
the power load in your home:
- Dialing for
dollars: Each degree you go below 78 increases your energy
consumption by about 8 percent. When you turn your AC on, don’t
set it to a colder than normal temperature, hoping to get cool
fast. Just like the oven won’t heat faster, your home won’t
cool down any faster. Instead, you will over-cool and waste energy.
Don’t forget the hot-water heater, either: dial it down
when you’re going away. Considering lowering its base temperature,
as well. At 120-degrees, your shower will still be steamy, but
you’ll use less energy in the process.
- Stick with
Programmable thermostats cost between $100 and $150. They help
save money by enabling you to automate your room temperature to
be higher when you’re not home and lower in time to be cool
when you come home.
- Leaf relief:
Planting shady trees around your home will naturally cool your
home by standing between it and the sun. The shade will also help
your AC condenser to work more efficiently.
- Open up to
cool down at night: Don’t open windows when the
outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house. Use
ceiling fans to balance out the room’s temperature.
- Service counts:
Keep your air conditioning unit clean. Have a professional tune-up
before the hot season starts and check the filters monthly to
see if they need to be cleaned or replaced
- Smart use:
Use heat-producing appliances like clothes dryer, oven and dishwasher
when it’s cooler; early morning or night. Unplug home electronics
when you’re not using them to save on energy consumption.
- Fight leaks:
Properly seal all windows, doors and ducts or you’ll be
cooling the outside air, too.
- Smart light
bulbs: Security bulbs activated by motion sensors shine
light when you need them, saving energy and money without sacrificing
- Smart appliances:
When buying new air conditioners, refrigerators or windows, consider
energy-efficient versions. They’re usually more expensive
but thanks to federal tax credits and competitive prices, the
prices are falling, and because they use less energy, you save
in the long-run, too.
Angie’s List is
where consumers turn to get the real scoop on local contractors
and companies in more than 280 different categories. Currently,
more than 500,000 consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s
List to help them find the right contractor or company for the job
they need done. Members have unlimited access to the list via Internet
or phone; receive the Angie’s List magazine, which includes
articles on home improvement and maintenance, consumer trends and
scam alerts; and they can utilize the Angie’s List complaint
resolution service. Get more information and consumer tips at www.angieslist.com.
Source: Angie's List
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