Monday, June 22, 2009

Beat the Summer Heat

Most of us find air conditioners essential to keep cool, but they're also responsible for driving up summer electric bills. With the temperature finally reaching 90 degrees in Minnesota, I thought it was a good time to share some money-saving cooling tips. 

  • Get an air conditioner tune-up. Check with your electric utility for special deals on tune-ups.
  • Sign up for a load management program. Your utility will cycle your air conditioner condenser on and off in 15-minute intervals. Most participants don't even notice when the air conditioner is cycled, and you get a credit on your electric bill in the summer months.
  • Close your shades.
  • Fans use much less energy than air conditioners. Turn up your thermostat and use a fan to keep cool. 
  • Use ceiling fans in the counter-clockwise direction in summer.
  • Don't add heat to your home. Use the grill or microwave to prepare meals.
  • Change your furnace filter once a month.
  • Keep air registers free of obstructions such as furniture.
  • If you have a programable thermostat, program it to automatically go up when you're at work and automatically lower shortly before you come home. Don't have a programable thermostat? Not a problem, just remember to manually set your thermostat at a higher temperature before you leave for extended periods of time.
  • Don't forget to turn off your air conditioner before you leave for vacation.

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