The first day of summer, June 21, is fast approaching. As the days grow longer and the temperature rises, there are many ways you can conserve resources by saving energy and water and reducing your waste around your home this summer.
1. Care for your air conditioner
Check your air conditioner’s air filter monthly and change it when it looks dirty or at least every three months. A dirty filter, clogged with dust, pet fur and other particles, will slow air flow and make the unit work harder, expending extra energy to keep you cool.
Also make sure to clean your air conditioner’s coils periodically. Dust slows air flow and insulates the coils, reducing their ability to absorb heat.
2. Create a breeze
You can save up to 14 percent on your cooling costs if you use a ceiling fan and raise your thermostat two degrees, according to Energy Star. Or use free-standing fans to create a “wind tunnel” effect: Place one fan by a window where air is entering your home and another at an opposite window positioned to blow the warm air outside.
3. Close the blinds
Keep curtains and shades closed during the day to block the sun’s warming rays and keep your house cooler. Insulated windows and blinds will also help keep the heat out, just as they block cold air from entering the house during the winter.
4. Change light bulbs
You already know that compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs, but did you know that CFLs also burn cooler? Incandescent bulbs produce 75 percent more heat than CFLs and can contribute to a warmer home and higher cooling costs.