Senator Tom Harkin
The dog days of summer are in full-gear and across Iowa folks are reaching for the thermostat to crank up the air conditioning. The downside of this increased energy use, however, is that it can lead to higher energy bills for consumers, and in the long run, could cause harm to the environment. Here are some tips on how to beat the heat, but still save money and the environment.
Appliances and electronics typically account for 20 percent of an energy bill. Some simple tips for saving include:
If you are in the market for a new appliance look for the ENERGY STAR label.
Unplug appliances that are not used frequently and when you go on vacation because they still draw an electric current.
Clean the lint filter on the dryer each time.
If you have older appliances, purchase a power controlling device.
Unplug chargers for things such as cell phones and laptops when they are not in use.
Heating and cooling counts for 56 percent of energy use in a typical home and there are many ways to ward off unnecessary costs. In addition to the tips listed below, landscaping can also help provide shade and insulate the house (in cold and warm months) to lower costs.
By using a ceiling fan when air conditioning is on, you can raise the thermostat by 4F with no reduction to comfort.
Install a programmable thermostat that can control temperature based on time of day.
Place room AC units on the north side of the house, preferably in the shade (this can lower energy use by as much as 10 percent.)
Keep the thermostat set to what it would be in the winter, a lower number will not make the house cooler faster.
For more energy-saving tips visit www.energy.gov/energysavingtips.htm