You want to enjoy the Minnesota summer. You also want to avoid the higher energy costs that come with the warm summer months. Here are 9 tips you used to save summer energy costs while you enjoy these Minnesota months.
1. Seal air leaks, then add insulation — This will save you about 10 percent on your energy bill.
2. Install a programmable thermostat — Program your thermostat to work around your family’s summer schedule. A setting of 78 degrees is recommended in the summer. With proper use, programmable thermostats can save you about $180 annually in energy costs.
3. Change your furnace filter every three months at a minimum — A dirty filter will slow airflow and make your furnace work harder.
4. Minimize the number of times that outside doors are opened and closed — Hot air from outside enters your home every time the doors open.
5. Run your ceiling fan to create a cool breeze — Check to make sure your fan is blowing air downward to help you feel cooler. On hotter days, dialing up the thermostat by only two degrees and using your ceiling fan can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14 percent over the course of the cooling season.
6. Close blinds and curtains on south- and west-facing windows — This easy step blocks out summer sunlight, making your home cooler. You can also plant trees outside to shade windows or move potted trees and plants in front of windows.
7. Use high-efficiency light bulbs — Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) use 75 percent less energy, produce about 75 percent less heat and provide the same amount of light. Learn about DTE lighting discounts.
8. Maintain your existing air conditioning system — Follow manufacturers’ guidelines. Remove leaves, grass and debris monthly from the outside condenser during the summer.
9. Install a new high-efficiency central air conditioner — Consider buying an energy-efficient air conditioner with a higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficiently the air conditioner runs, which reduces your energy use. ENERGY STAR central air conditioners, with at least a 14 SEER, are the more efficient models on the market.
My thanks to DTE Energy for these summer energy tips.