Sunsational Energy Savings
Spending more time outdoors can be an opportunity to reduce your energy use—indoors!
Whether you're celebrating the 4th of July or hosting a last-minute family gathering in the backyard, following these simple tips can help you save energy all summer long.
- Chill out and grill out. Cooking outside is an effective way to help keep the indoors cool and comfortable. Since you're not using kitchen appliances, you're helping to keep cooling costs down.
- No fridge, no problem. If you're spending the day outside, keep drinks in coolers so your refrigerator isn't constantly being opened and closed, which wastes energy.
- Stock up. A fully-stocked freezer is more efficient than an empty one. When you open the door, the items stay colder because the unit doesn't have to work as hard to cool empty space. But don't jam-pack the freezer either—air needs to circulate.
- American as apple pie. If you're planning to bake a pie to enjoy at your cookout, resist the temptation to open the oven door. Each time you open the door, the temperature drops, resulting in energy waste.
How and when you use appliances can make a difference
Maintaining appliances that consume large amounts of energy and managing their use can save energy during critical periods.
When you need to run your air conditioner, make sure it runs efficiently. If you have an outdoor unit, clean leaves and grass clippings off it regularly. Schedule a qualified contractor to professionally service your central air at least every two years to ensure optimal performance.
Using ceiling fans in occupied rooms and drawing shades to minimize sunlight also will help keep rooms cooler and more comfortable.
Use washers, dryers and dishwashers before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m. or on weekends—and run them with full loads. Running large appliances in the early morning or late evening helps to lower the demand for power during peak times. If we can reduce peak—when everyone is consuming higher amounts of electricity—we can lower long-term costs. By working together to control our energy usage, collectively we can save energy, produce less electricity and control energy costs.