Change daily habits to keep indoor heat down during hot days
The best way to lower your energy bill as the hot season approaches is to develop habits that will minimize the heat inside your home.
Normally, you wouldn’t put off doing housework, but during summertime, that’s a good thing – and not just because you’d rather spend the afternoon at the beach. Using large appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers generates considerable heat. Because of their proximity to the kitchen, these machines add to heat from the oven and cooktop, whose use can’t be delayed as easily when meal time beckons.
Run your household appliances during early morning or evening hours and you’ll be doing yourself and your neighbors a favor. By using appliances during non-peak hours, you help prevent brownouts and reduced power by easing up on the power grid. And there’s often a financial break, because utility charges are typically less per kilowatt-hour during those times.
Investing in a programmable thermostat is a very effective way to keep energy use down, particularly for people who have steady schedules during the week. By turning up the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees, you can cut a fair amount of your energy usage during periods when you’re away from home.
Place your fans strategically
When you place electric fans strategically, you can create an indoor cross breeze in your home where you may not have a breeze from windows. If you do have windows across from each other, maximize their contribution to keeping things cool. Place window fans in those openings and you’ll be able to cut down on the amount of time you run your air conditioner.
Choose fans that are appropriate to the room where they’re used. Fans that circulate air widely through oscillation are good choices for large rooms. Focusing cool air where it’s needed most can be accomplished with smaller fans or those that have pivoting heads that can be aimed at particular areas.
Change personal habits to stay cool as well. On hot nights, it’s no secret that taking a lukewarm shower will make you comfortable. But that comfort may last longer than you think, especially if the shower or bath is taken shortly before bedtime. You’ll be cooled down when you fall asleep, and that can contribute to a more restful night.
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