Use a little energy to save a lot of energy…and money

Here are some simple and inexpensive ways you can save energy and money this summer:

Use your thermostat wisely. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your cooling bill will be – so set your thermostat as high as is comfortable. If you’re going to be away, keep the house warmer than normal. A programmable thermostat will help control your heating and cooling costs, and it’s affordable and easy to install.

Shut your drapes or blinds during the day. Keeping your drapes and blinds drawn while you’re out of the house will help keep out the heat. Did you know there are window treatments and coverings that can help improve energy efficiency?

Keep central air conditioning in good working order. Regular maintenance is imperative. So is changing the filter (if applicable). Keep lights and TV sets away from your thermostat. Vacuum your vents regularly, and be sure not to allow furniture and other objects to block airflow.

Use heat-producing appliances sparingly. On hot days, avoid using the oven, and if you must run the dishwasher, do so later in the evening when it’s cooler.

Seal cracks and other openings. Prevent warm air from leaking into your home. Add caulk and weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.

Use ceiling fans along with your air conditioning. You’ll be able to raise the thermostat a few more degrees. Because ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, be sure to turn off the fan when you leave the room.

Use the bathroom fan when showering. This helps to remove heat and humidity from the room. Remember to turn it off as soon as you can so it doesn’t suck out the cooler air.

Review your pre-programmed settings. Be sure to adjust the timers you have on any lights to account for more daylight in the summer. No use having lights on when it’s still light out!

For more tips, visit www.energy.gov.