1. Keep your home cool without cranking up the A/C by opening windows and doors in the evening and early morning when it’s cooler outside. Opening a window high on the warm side of the house and a lower window on the cool side creates cross ventilation to keep your home cool and breezy. Fans can help move the air throughout the house. An ENERGY STAR® qualified ceiling fan/light combination uses 50 percent less energy in comparison to a conventional model. Fans cool people, not rooms, so remember to turn them off when you leave.
2. With longer days comes shorter nights so don’t forget to adjust outdoor lighting timers. This will save some energy and extend the life of the bulbs.
3. Install a programmable thermostat and take a little time to set reasonable temperatures for the hours when you are home and away. Setting and leaving the thermostat at 78 degrees during the summer months could save you as much as five percent on your energy bill.
4. When you can, use your microwave for cooking. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove and does not heat up the kitchen like a stove does. Handy for cooking during those hot months!
5. Postpone running the dishwasher and doing laundry until nighttime to avoid adding extra heat to your home.
6. Heating water is the second highest energy user in your home. When doing laundry, use cold water and avoid under-loading or overloading dishwashers and washing machines.
7. Take shorter showers and install low-flow, high-performance showerheads and faucet aerators.
8. Use the dishwasher rather than hand-washing dishes and don’t pre-rinse dishes.
9. Think about whether you need that second fridge or freezer in the garage or basement. Older units can cost more than $100 a year to power.
10. Many electronics draw power even when turned off. Plug items like TVs, DVD players and game consuls into power strips that you can switch off when not in use. Special “smart” power strips do this automatically.