2002-06-22 / Community

Tips For Staying Cool

Tips For Staying Cool

Tips For Staying Cool

Summer heat will arrive eventually in New York State, despite the ups and downs we've seen in springtime temperatures.  But New York State residents can keep their cool when the thermometer soars, while doing their pocketbooks a favor and helping the state meet summer energy needs- by heeding energy-saving tips from the New York State Energy
Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

It's not too soon to turn in an inefficient, working room air conditioner
and purchase a new energy-efficient Energy Star®-labeled unit, then claim the $75 bounty that the state is offering for the third year.  "Energy
efficiency is the smartest, quickest, cleanest, most economical way for
consumers to save on utility bills, help maintain system reliability, and
save the environment," according to William M. Flynn, President of NYSERDA.

NYSERDA offers these energy-efficiency tips to cut energy costs this summer: Go bounty hunting.  Find out how to get a $75 bounty for your inefficient room air conditioner when you purchase a new Energy Star-labeled unit.  Call toll-free at 1-877-NY-SMART (1-877-697-6278).

Look for the Energy Star label, the symbol for energy efficiency, not only
when shopping for an air conditioner, but also for other major appliances,
as well as light fixtures and bulbs, windows, and home electronics.  For
central air conditioning systems, make sure the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is 12 or higher.

Shift energy-intensive tasks, such as laundry and dishwashing, to off-peak hours - nights, mornings, and weekends.  Operate washers and dryers with full loads to get the most for your energy dollars.

Install a setback timer on your room air conditioner if it doesn't already have one, so it does not run while you are out.  Such timers can program room air conditioners to turn off while you're away and back on just before you return.  This reduces energy use and lets you come home to a cool house.

If you are taking advantage of lower interest rates to refinance your
home, include the cost of energy-efficiency home improvements in the loan amount so you can get a tax deduction for the interest on those costs.  Home performance with Energy Star, a program offered by NYSERDA, helps you find a
certified contractor to make your home as energy efficient, comfortable, and safe as possible, while saving up to 40 percent on your energy costs.  Visit www.GetEnergySmart.org for more information.

Take the guesswork out of energy-efficiency improvements by exploring
NYSERDA's consumer website www.GetEnergySmart.org.  Additional energy-efficiency tips and other valuable information can be found on the website of the Alliance to Save Energy www.ase.org/consumer.

Cooling accounts for a large portion of the average family's energy bill.
Maintain your air conditioning equipment with a professional "tune-up" to save you the cost and inconvenience of a breakdown on the hottest days.

Clean or replace filters monthly.  Consider increasing the temperature by just three degrees to decrease your energy bills. For optimum performance, make sure window units are sized properly.  Use the sizing chart at www.GetEnergySmart.org.

Plug energy "leaks" with appropriate insulation, weather stripping,
caulking, and low-e or spectrally selective windows, glass doors, and
skylights.  Make sure your attic, ceiling, and the rest of your house are
well insulated.  Check air ducts for leaks and properly insulate them; a
house can lose up to 20 or 30 percent of its energy from leaky ducts.

Light up your life - efficiently.  Replace your existing light bulbs with
energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs that use one-fourth the energy,
last 10 times longer, and are more cost effective.  You can improve your
home's security and still avoid wasting money and energy when you are out by putting timers on a few lights or installing motion detectors on exterior floodlights.

Your refrigerator runs 24 hours a day, so keep the coils clean to reduce
your energy bills and extend the life of your appliance.  The coils are
located behind or under the fridge.

Look for the Energy Star label when shopping for a new refrigerator.

Check out Energy Star clothes washers.  They can cut water usage for a family of four by more than half and cut electric bills by $85 to $90 a
year, while getting clothes just as clean as conventional units.  Energy
Star washers also have a more efficient spin cycle that reduces clothes
dryer energy use by up to 25 percent.  Also investigate dryers with moisture

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