Some Missourians worry about the cost of staying cool and sometimes they worry themselves to death. The state energy center has some money-saving tips.
First, though, a DON’T:
Do not seal up your house so that heat builds upside. It can be much hotter inside than outside if you do…
Windows let hot air out as well as in….and air movement is the key to survival, if not comfort.
Go ahead and be warm. Set the air conditioner thermostat to a level you can stand. It takes a lot to keep a house at 70 degrees.
The energy center’s Kerry Cordray suggests you look where your thermostat is….and what is nearby. He says it’s good to keep electronic devices away from thermostats because the devices can generate a few degrees of heat, just enough to make the thermostat run more than it should run.
Sunny windows can make your air conditioner work two or three times harder than if you have curtains over them…or light-colored blinds that reflect the heat away.
Live in a two-story home? Open windows upstairs and downstairs…Hot air rises and will create an airflow. Open a door to the basement–a source of cool air.
He says some of these things can help even if you don’t have an air conditioner. A window air conditioner only:? A fan can move the cool air from that room to another.
And if you really worry about increased monthly utility bills–talk to the utility company. They usually work with customers to make keeping cool affordable.
If nothing else—go stand in a cool shower from time to time. And if the house is an oven, get out of it. You probably are not that far away from a store, a theatre, a church–.whatever–with air conditioning. And those places are often free.
Here are the tips from the Energy Center
Use Air Conditioning and Fans Wisely
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Use a programmable thermostat with your air conditioner to adjust the setting at night or when no one is home.
- Use a fan with your window air conditioner to spread cool air effectively through your home without greatly increasing power use.
- Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It won’t cool your home any faster, and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- Don’t place lamps or TVs near your air conditioner’s thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
Shade your windows – sunny windows make air conditioners work two to three times harder.
- Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
- Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
- Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing window?s.
Weatherize – air leaks waste energy dollars year-round
- Caulking and weatherstripping will keep cool air in during the summer.
- Add insulation around air conditioning ducts when they are located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages.
- If you see holes or separated joints in your ducts, hire a professional to repair them.
- Check to see that your fireplace damper is tightly closed.
For Long Term Savings:
- If your air conditioner is old, the new energy efficient models can save you up to 50 percent on your cooling bills. Look for the ENERGY STAR®.
- Adding insulation and sealing air leaks help your energy performance in the summertime by keeping the cool air inside.
Everyday Tips to To Save Energy
These no-cost or low-cost tips are easy ways to save energy and money all year round.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.
- Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional electric range or oven.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and VCRs, into power strips and turn power strips off when equipment is not in use.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater; 115° is comfortable for most uses.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
Many of these same tips are also applicable to savings on winter heating costs .