As the temperature increases this summer, help residents stay cool and reduce electric bills with these low-cost to no-cost energy saving tips.

  • Reduce appliance usage to stay cool.
    • Grill outdoors. Save energy by firing up the grill outdoors or prepare meals that don’t require cooking.
    • Only run dishwashers or washing machines when they’re full.
    • Unplug and turn off appliances when they’re not in use.
    • Replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient lighting options. LEDs use up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs and last at least 15 times longer.
  • Become a fan of the fan.
    • Use fans in occupied rooms. They circulate air to supplement air conditioning. Make sure ceiling fans are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.
    • Paired with air conditioning, a fan can allow you to raise the thermostat setting by a few degrees and still stay comfortable.
    • For apartment units with windows on opposite ends, take advantage of passive cooling and use fans in windows to pull cool air in and draw warm air out.
    • Run cooktop and bathroom fans when you’re cooking or bathing to vent heat and moisture.
  • Keep hot air out and cool air in.
    • Seal air leaks with caulk and weather stripping. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible to keep the cool air inside.
    • Close windows and blinds during the day. Open them at night or in the morning to let cool air in.
    • Use light-colored window coverings to reflect heat away.
    • Consider adding a low-emission film to window panes to reduce the amount of heat that enters your apartment.
  • Maximize your air conditioner.
    • Turn thermostats off at night and when you’re away from home.
    • Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature setting. Every one-degree increase in temperature reduces cooling costs by approximately 5%. The US Department of Energy recommends a minimum set point of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Change or clean air filters monthly. A dirty air filter can make a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
    • Place electronics and appliances away from the thermostat. The heat they produce can cause the air conditioner to work harder than necessary.

Further Reading on Energy Saving