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June 28, 2015
Energy usage seems to go up exponentially in the summertime. Excessive use of energy is bad for the environment as well as the wallet. Saving energy may seem like a daunting task, but it is not. Here are some small and simple ways to save energy during summer in Colorado.
Keep your air conditioner in good working condition
Colorado summers can get quite hot, so air conditioning can become something homeowners rely on frequently. However, running an air conditioner requires a lot of energy and can also become expensive. Keeping the air conditioner in good working condition will require it to use less energy and, therefore, will cost the homeowner less money. Make sure the grass is trimmed around the area where the outside unit sits. The ducts and air return should be cleaned at the beginning of the summer as well. It is also a good idea to call a professional to check the evaporator and condenser.
Use a ceiling fan
Using a ceiling fan can keep you cool as well as save energy. Ceiling fans will continually circulate the air and help it remain cool. A ceiling fan can cool the indoor temperature so much that it negates the need for air conditioning, even on very hot days. Look for a ceiling fan with reversible blades and set it to turn counterclockwise in the warm weather. Try to keep the blades clean and free of dust to extend the life of the fan.
Get an energy audit
Make an appointment with a qualified professional to have an energy audit completed. An auditor will come into the home and assess its energy use and point out where energy is being wasted. The technician will also provide suggestions on how to eliminate the wasted energy.
Use less water
Conserving water in the summertime will save energy and money. There are many ways Colorado residents can conserve water during the sultry summer months. The Denver Post suggests conserving water in a few basic ways. First, install an aerator on the kitchen sink faucet. Install a balloon in the tank of any non-low-flow toilets. Combine laundry loads. Make sure the sprinkling system is working properly. Collect the water that comes from the shower while you are waiting for the water to heat up and use it for watering flowers and shrubs.
Add landscaping to the property
Properly planted and placed landscaping can help to lower the temperature and reduce the wind velocity around the home. It also helps to regulate energy flow from the sun and wind. Since the temperature near the house is cooler, it reduces the need for air conditioning, which results in reduced energy usage and cost.
Make sure the house in property insulated
Proper insulation is a key factor in keeping the temperature in a home comfortable in both the winter and summer. During the summer months, insulation keeps the warm air out, reducing the indoor air temperature. Therefore, it requires less work from the air conditioner to keep the temperature cool.
Set the air conditioning as high as possible
Air conditioning requires a lot of energy to work. Too often homeowners turn the temperature down to keep cool. However, the lower the temperature is set, the harder the air conditioner must work. To save energy, try to set the air conditioner as high as possible. According to Pacific Power, the recommended temperature for optimal energy savings is 78º for when people are home and 85º when the house is empty.
Minimize indoor heat
Indoor heat can be generated quickly. The clothes dryer and dishwasher are a few sources of indoor heat. If these appliances must be run, make sure it is at night. Another option is to let clothes and dishes air dry as much as possible. Avoid using heat-producing incandescent lights. Also, avoid using the oven by using the microwave or toaster or by cooking outside.
Change-up the laundry routine
In the warmer months, all clothes should be washed in cold water. This will prevent the water heater from having to work too hard. If you use the dryer, be sure to clean the lint trap after every use. Although this is an extra step in doing laundry, it only takes a minute to complete, and it will prevent the dryer from having to work too hard to dry the clothes.
Unplug unused appliances and electronics
Lots of unnecessary energy is wasted just keeping unused electronics plugged in. Pay close attention to everything that is plugged into an outlet and unplug anything that is not necessary. Larger appliances such as televisions and DVD players should be plugged into a power strip or surge protector, which should be turned off whenever possible.
Adopting a few new habits can go a long way in helping to conserve energy and save money during the summer and all year round.
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