Posted: Aug 22, 2012 9:00 AM
 
Looking for ways for your home and wallet to stay cool this summer? Check out these six energy saving tips.

Fill up your fridge

My fridge is never full for long -- I have teen and tween sons -- and while that's bad for my budget, it's also bad for my energy savings. Adam Duke, co-founder of Go Green Energy Consulting, explains, "A refrigerator works by removing the heat from the contents inside, if there isn't much in it then it works really hard to pulling heat from outside the doors into the fridge and then out -- more energy for less cooling."

To make unplugging easier, use a power strip or surge protector so you can switch everything off together.

Avoid energy vampires

You may not think about all of the appliances and electronics you leave plugged in all day -- I know I don't -- but leaving everything plugged in, even when not turned on, can really suck the energy out of your home. (Sorry, bad pun!)

Billee Sharp, author of Lemons and Lavender, The Eco Guide to Better Homekeeping, explains, "The consumption of standby power by these 'energy vampires' accounts for 10 percent of residential electricity nationally. To make unplugging easier, use a power strip or surge protector so you can switch everything off together. This also saves wear and tear on your outlets."

Use appliances at night

Doing laundry and dishes during the day may be convenient -- but not energy efficient.

Lisa Breslin of repair.com, suggests, "Opt for running a full load of laundry or the dishwasher in the evening, run the clothes dryer at night and use the stove sparingly. Not only will you save money and energy, you'll also decrease the amount of heat building up in your home -- a nice side effect on a hot day."

Stay cool the natural way

Try cooling off the old-fashioned way -- taking a shower, or placing a cool washcloth on your chest or the back of your neck.

If you want to save energy by not blasting the A/C all day long, try cooling off the old-fashioned way -- taking a shower, or placing a cool washcloth on your chest or the back of your neck. Don't want to get wet? Try a Kool Tool -- a towel you wet, wring out, snap then wear wherever you want to. It will keep you cool while keeping dry.

Program your thermostat

This tip may be a no-brainer -- it's a tried and true tip for saving energy during summer. What's cool (bad pun again, last one, I promise!) is a product like The Nest. It's a learning thermostat that remembers your temperature preferences and at which times of the day.

Ceiling fans use only about one tenth of the electricity of a typical home air conditioner.

Become a fan of fans

On the hottest day of the summer, my central air conditioning unit broke. I was dreading trying to sleep in non-frigid air, and was pleasantly surprised at how much a few fans cooled my home. Tom Peric, editor of HVACR Distribution Business Magazine, explains, "Ceiling fans use only about one tenth of the electricity of a typical home air conditioner and therefore cost only one-tenth as much to operate."

I can attest to that -- I no longer cringe at my electric bill since I haven't been able to use my A/C!

Read more

What to look for in energy efficient appliances
Ways to reduce your energy bill this summer
Save energy

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