Do Your Part: Summer Utilities
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Cooling your home can account for as much as 50 percent of your utility bills. Do Your Part to beat the heat and keep costs under control by conserving energy during hot summer months.
First, make your thermostat work for you. Set it a few degrees higher when no one is home. Or, install a programmable thermostat and program it so it can do the work for you.
A ceiling fan can make a room feel as much a seven degrees cooler. If you raise your thermostat by two degrees and use a ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent. Ceiling fan blades should spin counter-clockwise during the hotter months.
Closing the blinds and curtains on the windows receiving the most sun can reduce the heat coming into your home by as much as 40 percent. This also works on porches that bake in the late day sun.
Your kitchen is another big source of heat. Avoid running your appliances during the day. Instead, run your dishwasher at night and only when it is fully loaded. Instead of heating up the oven, consider grilling out or using the microwave for side dishes.
And planting a tree near the southwest corner of your home will reduce cooling costs. A deciduous tree that will shade your home in the summer and shed its leaves in the fall to allow in warm winter sunlight.