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Green Tips: Saving Energy This Summer

Green Tips | July 9, 2020

New York State generates electricity from nuclear, hydroelectric, and natural gas. Millions of New Yorkers will expend energy to stay cool this summer, so it’s important to be mindful of our energy consumption. When we decrease our energy demands, we mitigate environmental impacts and the flow of New York dollars to out-of-state sources, including natural gas, which fuels 40% of our energy demands. Follow our tips to save on your energy bills and help the environment this summer! 

Home Cooling Tips

While it may feel nice to leave your air conditioning on all day and come home to a cool house, the electric and environmental costs are not worth the luxury. You can lower your ecological footprint and save money by doing the following:

  • Opt to open windows for a cross draft (especially on lower floors of the house) during the cooler hours of the day.
  • Close the blinds and windows before leaving  your home and turn off your AC. Once you get home, turn on your AC and use its energy saving mode. Note: Turning on the AC and setting it at a lower temperature than usual will not cool your home any faster. It will, however, leave a hole in your wallet! 
  • Clean and change your AC filters every 30-90 days to reduce strain on your AC. 
  • Replace old AC units with one that has an Energy Star label or a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
  • Set your thermostat or AC temperature as high as you can comfortably tolerate. For every degree you set your thermostat above 72°F, you can save 4% to 8% on your bill. 
  • If you are not planning on using a room in your home, close the door so that your AC has less space to cool. There’s no need for your laundry room to be cool if it’s not laundry day!
  • Keep heat-emitting appliances away from your thermostat so that the sensor is not tricked into thinking the entire room is as hot as your appliance.
  • Do home activities that emit heat (cooking, showering, etc) at night when it’s cooler, so that your cooling system isn’t working overtime. 

Cooling Boosters & Alternatives 

There are plenty of ways to make your cooling system more effective. On cooler days where you can forego using your AC, or days where your AC unit needs some support, use our tips to save energy:

  • Fans create a wind chill effect to cool down people in a room. On cooler days, open your windows and use a fan. On warmer days, set your AC a few degrees higher than usual and put on your fan to circulate that air. Turn off the fan and AC when there’s no one in the room.
  • Use a fan to remove humidity and heat from your kitchen, laundry area, or bathroom after a shower. 
  • Weatherproof your home with caulking and good insulation.
  • Invest in light-blocking blinds and draft-proof windows.
  • Plant trees outside of windows that receive the most sun. Trees can reduce the surrounding air temperature by as much as 6°F and can block the sun from heating your space.

Other Energy Saving Tips

Looking to save even more on your energy bill and help the environment? Check out a few more energy saving tips for the summer:

  • Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient ones that use about 25%-80% less energy
  • Reduce heat in your home by using a microwave or grill outside instead of your stove.
  • Shower with colder water to keep you and your home cooler.
  • Unplug anything you are not actively using. 
  • Hang your laundry outside to dry, if possible. 

We hope that you find these tips helpful. Small actions can make a difference. Look forward to decreased energy bills and stay cool (the eco way)!

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