8 Easy Ways to Save Energy and Money This Summer

The heat of summer is upon us, and that means folks are cranking up the AC, making an extra batch of ice, and generally burning energy 24-7.  But we need all need to continue to try to conserve as much energy as possible to save resources and slow the march of global warming.  And we get to save money at the same time– nice one!

Here are the eight easy things we can all do at home to cut our energy consumption. 

1.  Keep your home at an eco-conscious temperature.  78 degrees is plenty cool in the house.  Turn down the AC and get a programmable thermostat so you’re only cooling the house when you really need to.
2. Work with the sun to keep your house cool.  Close all shutters and blinds during the day to keep the sun out– then open windows at night to cool the house and feel the breeze (if you have any!).
3.  Let the air dry your dishes and clothes. The dryer and dish washer use a lot of energy– and the air does the drying job just as well.  Plus your clothes will last longer. See some great clothes-drying racks here.
4.  Take shorter showers and do not take baths.  Hot water heating is one of the major uses of energy in any home.  Showers are the way to go– and keep ’em short. Baths use much more water and heat than do baths (unless you’re taking 30 minute showers!).  You can also look into solar hot water.
5.  Ditch the beer fridge. It’s amazing how many homes have two refrigerators.  Please do not use more than one fridge.  And if you have an old model, get a newer Energy Star model.
6.  Use ceiling fans rather than AC.  They are much more energy-efficient and you can get very reasonably priced Energy Star models.
7.  Get solar screens for your windows. These screens cut 75% of the heat coming through your windows, but don’t impact your visibility. They are really great energy savers.  See solar screens here.
8.  Spend one night each week in candlelight. It’s romantic, fun and inspires new conversation. If you’ve got kids, how about turning off the TV one night and playing a board game by candlelight? Clue would be particularly spooky!

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