Summer is here! Try these energy saving tips.

Summer is here! Try these energy saving tips.

To start using energy more efficiently and lower your costs, try making some of these easy changes in your home:

Reset your programmable thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature to save on cooling costs.

Wear cool clothing inside instead of turning up the air conditioning.

Replace or clean air conditioning filters once a month. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use.

Lower your water heater’s maximum temperature — 120 degrees should be sufficient. The energy savings are seven-eleven percent of water heating costs.

Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fan. In the warm months, your ceiling fan should push warm air upward to keep the room cooler.

Insulate your water heater pipes. Using pipe insulation available from your local hardware store, insulate the first five feet of pipe coming out of the top of your water heater. If the whole length of exposed pipe between the water heater and the wall is less than five feet, insulate the full length.

Other things you can do in the WARMER months to save energy:

  • Clean the track of your sliding glass door — dirt and dust can ruin the door’s seal, allowing cool air to escape.
  • During the spring, Virginia has many warm days with cooler nights. Keep your windows and shades closed during the day to keep hot air out, and open windows at night to let the cool air in.
  • Take advantage of the nice weather and consider drying clothes outside in the sunshine instead of your dryer.
  • Prepare for trips away from home by turning your water heater to “vacation mode,” unplugging electronic appliances, and turning off most lights. For security, you can use a low cost timer rather than leaving on visible or exterior lights.
  • Give your air conditioner a “check-up” to make sure it’s in good condition. Older air conditioning units can be inefficient. If it necessary to replace your existing unit, purchase an Energy Star model.
  • Move lamps, televisions and other electronic devices away from your air conditioning unit. The heat they generate will cause the air conditioner to waste energy by running longer unnecessarily.

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