The EPA has issued the annual list of suggestions and tips designed
assist the public cut cooling
costs, stay comfortable, save energy
protect their health. While these are tips designed for the average
home, facility managers and building operators may see mirrors here on a
much larger scale.
Let’s look at the EPA’s 7 Summer energy tips:
- Change to More Efficient Light Bulbs. Change out
incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting choices. ENERGY STAR qualified lighting not only uses less energy, but also
produces approximately 75 percent less heat than incandescent lighting,
so cooling bills will be reduced, too.
- Find the Best Thermostat Settings. If you have a
programmable thermostat, program it to work around your family’s summer
schedule—set it a few degrees higher (such as 78 degrees) when no one is
home, so your cooling system isn’t cooling an empty house.
- Use Ceiling Fans Optimally. Run your ceiling fan to create a
cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use
your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent.
Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so when you leave the
room make sure to turn off the fan.
- Maximize Shade. Pull the curtains and shades closed before
you leave your home to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior
of your home. If you can, move container trees and plants in front of
sun-exposed windows to serve as shade.
- Reduce Oven Time. Use a microwave instead of an oven to
cook, when you can. Ovens take longer to cook food and can make your
house warmer, requiring your AC system to turn on to keep the house at a
- Check Air Conditioner Filters. Check your cooling system’s
air filter every month. If the filter looks dirty, change it. A good
rule is to change the filter at least every three months. A dirty filter
will slow air flow and make the system work harder to keep you
cool—wasting energy. Also, remember to have your system serviced
annually to ensure it’s running at optimum efficiency for money and
- Plug Duct System Leaks. As much as 20 percent of the air
moving through your home’s duct system is lost due to leaks and poor
connections. Seal duct work using mastic sealant or metal tape and
insulate all the ducts that you can access (such as those in attics,
crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages). Also, make sure that
connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet
floors, walls, and ceilings. These are common locations to find leaks
and disconnected ductwork.
Check out more summer energy tips and information at www.energystar.gov/cooltips
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