How to conserve energy throughout summer
Energy bills tend to be high in summertime, when many people crank up their air
conditioners in an attempt to combat the
heat. For some households, higher energy
bills might be stretching their budgets,
while others might be looking for ways to
reduce their carbon footprints.
Conserving energy can help homeowners save money and help the planet at the
same time. And reducing energy consumption in the summer does not require
men and women to sacrifice comfort in
the name of conservation. In fact, various
strategies can help homeowners and
apartment dwellers reduce their summertime energy consumption.
• Stop cooling an empty home. A cool

home might be the ultimate necessity
during summer heat waves, but there’s no
reason to cool a residence when no one is
home. According to the U.S. Department
of Energy, operating thermostats more
efficiently can help homeowners trim
their cooling costs by as much as 10 percent. One way to be more efficient with
thermostats is to keep the house warmer
than normal when no one is home. Programmable thermostats can be set so air
conditioning units turn on shortly before
residents arrive home, ensuring the house
is comfortable and no energy is wasted.
• Narrow the gap between indoor and
outdoor temperatures. The DOE notes
that the smaller the difference between

the temperature indoors and outside the
lower cooling costs will be. While it may
be tempting to set thermostats to room
temperature (68 F) on days when temperatures reach 90 F or above, that’s an
enormous temperature gap that will result
in a high energy bill. Instead, the DOE
recommends setting thermostats to 78 F
whenever possible.
• Open the windows at night. Daytime
temperatures, particularly during the dog
days of summer, may necessitate the use
of air conditioners. But men and women
who live in climates where temperatures
drop considerably at night can sleep with
their windows open. This reduces energy
consumption and saves money, and can
be a great way to introduce fresh air into
a home during a time of year when air can
become stagnant.
• Do not set air conditioner thermostats

at lower than normal temperatures when
turning them on. The DOE notes that
setting thermostats at lower than normal
temperatures when turning air conditioners on will not cool homes any faster than
setting them at typical temperatures. Such
a strategy will only lead to excessive energy consumption and higher energy bills.
• Install ceiling fans. Ceiling fans can
improve cooling efficiency in a home.
According to the DOE, ceiling fans allow
men and women who use air conditioners
to raise the thermostats on their AC units
about 4 F without adversely affecting
comfort levels. Men and women who live
in temperate climates may find that ceiling fans are enough to keep rooms cool
without the need for air conditioners.
Homeowners can combat high utility bills
and excessive energy consumption during
the summer with various eco- and budgetfriendly strategies.

Ceiling fans can reduce
reliance on costly air
conditioners when
cooling homes in
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