Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ways to save this summer

Well everybody is taking a hit by rising gas prices, so much so that we are starting to get tired of the complaining. However it is a reality that everyone lives with! Here are some ways to cut your energy bills this summer to compensate (maybe a little?) for rising gas prices....this is from, a consumer group that helps folks save money!

Summer Saving Tips

As the summer heats up, here are a few savings tips to help you enjoy some fun in the sun without worrying about your wallet!

Summer Tip #1: To save on your air conditioning bill, turn off unnecessary lights during the day. Much of the energy used by incandescent bulbs is emitted as heat.

Summer Tip #2: To save 1-2 percent on your energy bill, unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use. Most new electronics use electricity even when switched off. Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.

Summer Tip #3: For a more energy efficient way to cook, use your microwave instead of your stove. Microwaves use two-thirds less energy than conventional stovetops.

Summer Tip #4: Consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs. They use about 75 percent less energy and give off 75 percent less heat but produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs.

Summer Tip #5: Make some shade! Awnings, blinds and drapes keep sunlight from entering your home. Install them on windows, skylights, doors, and other places where the sun comes through. During the day, closing the blinds and drapes to filter the sun will keep the room's temperature from rising.

Summer Tip #6: Planting trees in strategic areas can reduce the energy a house uses for cooling by up to 25 percent. Deciduous trees (that lose their leaves) help block the sun during the summer and still allow the winter sun to warm your home. Also, planting trees and shrubs around your air conditioning unit can increase its efficiency by up to 10 percent. Just make sure to place them at least 18 inches away so they don’t block the vents.

Summer Tip #7: “Summerize” your home by adding insulation and sealing air leaks around the house. Add insulation to the attic or add to already existing insulation. Weather-stripping and sealing drafty doors and windows will keep your house comfortable year-round and potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

Summer Tip #8: On a hot, sunny day, dark-colored roofs can reach temperatures of up to 150º to 190º F, heating the living spaces below. Consider adding a reflective coating to a dark roof, or choosing a lighter color when it’s time to replace the roof.

Summer Tip #9: Have an extra refrigerator in the garage that you’re not using? Unplug or recycle that spare refrigerator if you don't really need it, and it could save you up to 10 percent or more on your energy bill.
Summer Tip #10: Thinking about buying a new refrigerator? Refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer design can save you an additional 2-3 percent on your energy bill compared to a side-by-side design.

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