Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature – 76 degrees or higher – and keep it there. Each degree a thermostat is raised can save up to four percent of the cost of operating an air conditioner and help electric companies keep the electricity flowing. If you have window air conditioning units, keep them on the highest temperature setting.
Postpone the use of major appliances, such as clothes dryers and dishwashers, until late in the evening or early in the morning.
Turn off all unnecessary lights. Unplug any computers, television sets, stereo equipment and other appliances that may be on but aren’t in use. Not only do they use electricity, they add heat to the house, forcing your air conditioner to work harder.
Close drapes and blinds on the sunny side of your house. The sun streaming in through a window can add considerable heat to a room and make it harder to cool.
Keep the doors to your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. A refrigerator with the door standing open uses a lot more energy than one with the door closed.
Make sure the filter on your air conditioner is clean. Good air flow is key to keeping cool, so make sure your system isn’t working harder than it has to. In addition, make sure vents are clear of furniture or other objects that might block air flow.
Use your microwave instead of a conventional oven. A microwave uses up to 70 percent less energy and also releases far less heat in the kitchen.
If your water heater runs on electricity, limit your use of hot water so the unit doesn’t run as often.
Use fans to keep air moving. Ceiling fans use about as much energy as a light bulb, which is far less than an air conditioner. With a fan, you can set the thermostat on your air conditioner to an even higher temperature and still stay comfortable.
Check the outdoor unit of your air conditioner. If it’s dirty, clogged or has vegetation growing closely around it, clean and trim so that air can flow smoothly around it.
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