Ceiling fans are a great way to efficiently cool your house in the summer. | Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Solidago
We’ve all been begging for winter’s bite to cease, and we might have finally caught a break with spring. After one of the most miserable winters since 2009, the infamously beautiful cherry blossoms are set to bloom just blocks from our very own U.S. Department of Energy Headquarters, and I’m quite excited.
But with warmer temperatures, our usual concern for home energy efficiency continues. While it’s unlikely you’ll need to turn on your air conditioning any time soon, preparation for the inevitable Long, Hot Summer is just as important. Below you’ll find a few easy ways to prepare your home for spring and summer temperatures.
Use Ceiling Fans
To avoid the onslaught of central and window air conditioning to your utility bills, there are many strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer and keep your home comfortable and inexpensively cooled. Ceiling fans are one of them.
Ceiling fans can reduce thermostat settings by 4°F and use much less energy than air conditioning. Just remember, like any appliance, they’re only useful to people when they’re actually around. So be sure to turn them off when leaving the house. You can find more about ENERGY STAR® ceiling fans on the ENERGY STAR website.
Keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape with annual filter checkups by your local maintenance company or appliance-savvy housemate. Also, be sure to replace filters in window air conditioners or wash them out. Learn the timer mechanisms on any appliance that is run continuously for optimal efficiency. You can learn more about operating and maintaining your air conditioner, evaporative cooler, or heat pump from Energy Saver. For room air conditioners, check out these efficiency tips.
Turn off Heated Appliances
Cooking food in an oven can increase the heat not just in your kitchen, but in your whole house. Using a microwave and stovetop to cook food can cut the heat in your home dramatically over using the oven.
You can also help keep your home cool by placing warm appliances (lamps, televisions, and cooking appliances) away from internal thermostats.