Of course, you want your home to be cool and comfortable during the dog days of summer.
But you also want to keep your energy bills under control.
Saving energy at home is actually easier than you might think.
By making a few simple adjustments to your heating and cooling use, lightening up on your wattage at home by using energy-efficient lighting, and cutting your kitchen cooking energy use where possible, you can make a big dent in your monthly energy bills.
To keep your home cool this summer, draw the drapes and close the windows to keep hot air and the sun's burning rays.
Set the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when you're home.For every degree you raise your thermostat, you'll save 3 to 5 percent on your monthly energy bill. Also consider installing a thermostat with a built-in timer. While you can easily adjust the thermostat yourself to comfortable temperatures, it's more efficient to have a system that does it for you automatically.
Don't place your air conditioning thermostat near lamps, appliances, or in direct sunlight. Heat in these areas is sensed by the thermostat and could cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Since energy for lighting accounts for some 10 percent of your electric bill, you can save by lightening up on your wattage. If you're using 100-watt bulbs where 60-watt bulbs would do, consider replacing them.
Or switch to fluorescent bulbs that screw into standard sockets. These bulbs give off a warmer light that's closer to the light of incandescent bulbs.
Lighten up on your interior decorating, too; Light colors for walls, draperies, rugs, and upholstery reflect light and can reduce the number of lamps needed to adequately light a room.
Outdoors, replace incandescent lighting with high-pressure sodium or outdoor fluorescent bulbs for additional savings.
Or, try solar-powered pathway lamps (with batteries that store photovoltaic energy for night-time use) or high-efficiency sodium lamps for security lighting.
If you keep range top burners and reflectors clean, they'll reflect the heat better and require less energy for cooking.
If you cook with electricity, turn off the burners several minutes before the end of the allotted cooking time. The burners will stay hot long enough to finish the job without using any more electricity.
When you have a choice between using the range top and the oven, go with the former to save energy.
If you do use the oven, open it sparingly; each time you open it, heat escapes and the oven will use even more energy to maintain the temperature. Use a pressure cooker and a microwave oven whenever possible; both save energy.
Finally, when you're boiling water, keep a lid on the pot; water boils faster when you use a top to hold in the heat.
Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the energy saving supplies and products that can help you save money on your monthly energy bill.