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1. Add a few degrees to your home’s temp and put summer clothes to use.
Instead of setting the thermostat at a temperature that makes your home nearly cold enough for sweatshirts, increase the thermostat temperature by a few degrees and wear summer clothes designed for warmer temperatures. You’ll likely not even notice the difference. Before you go to sleep, remember that the temperature generally drops in the evening so you may only need a ceiling fan until the sun rises in the morning. Also, post a note near your door that reminds you to turn the thermostat temperature up a few degrees while you’re away.
2. Close the drapes and shades.
Draw window shades and drapes closed in order to deter the fast-warming rays of sunlight from reaching your rooms. This may help in saving energy by reducing the room temperature by at least a few degrees, giving your AC a load off.
3. Prevent a sudden air conditioning breakdown.
Central air conditioner condensers should be cleaned annually to keep them operating properly. Use a garden hose and gently wash out leaves, grass, dirt and other debris from between the coils. Window air conditioner units require a bit more care. After removing the unit from the window, you’ll need to disassemble it in order to thoroughly clean out its coils and fan. You should also check and clean or replace the air filter.
4. Find the energy hog and unplug.
Which appliances and machines are costing you the most? Get informed, find out what should be unplugged and reduce your monthly bill. Plug-in energy usage meters enable homeowners to track energy efficiency by reporting consumption by hour, day, week, month or year. They can detect voltage drops in your home and help to predict your monthly energy bills and even brownout conditions.
5. Lights out.
Only turn on lights that are necessary. Reading a book? Just use your reading lamp and turn off the overhead lights. A light that is off uses zero electricity so before you leave a room, switch the light off. Over time, this practice will result in a noticeable dip in energy consumption. It also, of course, helps keep the house cooler, as lighting is a major source of heat.