Cut August Energy Costs!
Are you swooning from the heat or your sky-high electric bill? Heres how to stay cool and calm during the dog days of summer
1. Keep Lamps and TVs Far from the Thermostat Sure, they provide light to read by and American Idol, but they also exude heat, causing your AC to run overtime. Plant the standing lamps and television across the room if you can and consider switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, which generate less heat, last longer and use less energy than incandescent bulbs.
2. Insulate IntelligentlyYou know the feeling somehow, it always seems 10 degrees hotter upstairs than it does in your living room. Reduce the effect of the suns sizzling rays by insulating your attic. This will prevent the heat that builds up on top from filtering down into the rest of the house.
3. Get Window WiseDuring those scorching days, or before you leave for work in the morning, close your curtains and blinds to prevent the sun from beating down into the rooms and needlessly warming your home. Bonus: It will reduce fading of upholstery and rugs.
4. Make Use of Your MicrowavePrepping dinner? Not only is it quicker and a lot more convenient, but four minutes in the microwave will generate much less heat than a half hour in the oven.
5. Plant a Tree Plant deciduous trees (those that shed their leaves in the winter, like a maple) by the south and west sides of your home to shade windows from heat. In the winter, their bare branches will allow sunlight to stream into your home for added warmth. Also consider planting trees or shrubs near your AC unit. It will use less electricity when operating under the shade.
Our Experts: Ronnie Kweller, spokesperson for the Alliance to Save Energy; Chris Kielich, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Energy