2010-06-25 / Community

Summer Tips For Keeping Your Home Cool

As hot summer days replace the mild temperatures of spring, National Grid offers its customers some tips on how to beat the heat without increasing their energy costs. Consumers can reduce energy use by following these simple household tips that save energy and money:

Draw blinds, shades or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day, especially on south- and west-facing windows.

Cool things down by reducing the amount of heat generated in your home.

Turn off lights when they are not needed, and avoid cooking, bathing or washing clothes during the hottest hours of the day. Summer is the perfect time to reduce water heater temperature since the days are warmer.

Set the thermostat to 120 degrees or less for normal use, and lower the setting when away from home for extended periods.

For every 10 degrees decrease in heater temperature, energy use may be cut by 3 to 5 percent. Reduced temperatures will also decrease the risk of scalding.

Electric fans use very little electricity — costing approximately $9 to $11 per month for continuous use — and can provide relief from the heat. In the morning and evening, window fans are especially useful in moving cooler air from outdoors into a home.

Use the fan setting on the air conditioner at night when the air outside is cooler, or open a window and leave the air conditioner off. Keep windows and doors closed whenever the air conditioner is on.

Check your air conditioner filter, and replace or clean it if clogged.

The lower you set your temperature on your air conditioner, the costlier it is to operate.

For example, a 75 degree setting will cost about 18 percent more than a 78 degree setting. Set the thermostat on your air conditioner as high as comfort will permit.

Use programmable thermostats to optimize air conditioning systems.

Tighten your home’s “thermal envelope.” If you have air conditioning, you can save electricity by sealing everything that separates the inside of your home from the outside.

Check the caulking around windows and weather-stripping around doors. Storm doors and storm windows actually can help keep cool air in your home so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard.

According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, one of the most cost-effective energy conservation measures, for both cooling and heating, is to add extra ceiling or attic insulation to an increased depth of 12 inches.

National Grid has a 20-year track record of partnering with its customers to provide successful, award-winning efficiency programs in its U.S. service territory. In addition, National Grid recently challenged its customers to pledge to reduce their energy consumption by three percent every year for the next ten years. Customers can sign a pledge; participate in a free energy evaluation; and learn more about the company’s energy efficiency programs at www.powerofaction.com.

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