Spring/Summer Energy Tips
At NIPSCO, we want you to have a cool summer, but we also want to help you reduce your energy use and your monthly bill. Here are a few simple tips that can result in big savings.
- Air conditioners
Have your system maintained annually by a qualified technician to make sure your air conditioner can beat the heat. On the inside, wash or vacuum cleanable filters; replace disposable ones. Clear the leaves and other debris away from the condensing unit on the outside of your home and hose off any accumulated dirt.
- Air ducts
Sealing your air ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawl space. Remember: typically, nearly 50 percent of your utility bill in the summer goes towards cooling the home.
On very hot days, minimize the use of ovens, stoves, washers, dryers and other major appliances that generate heat. In addition, on days when the temperature reaches 90 degrees or more, it is best to wait until after 6 p.m. before cooking, doing laundry or washing dishes.
- Blinds, shades and draperies
Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to keep hot air out. White window coverings reflect sunlight, unlike dark coverings which absorb the heat. During the summer, sunny windows make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
- Ceiling fans/Thermostat
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. By changing the direction to counter-clockwise in the summer, the fan will circulate the cool air. With this cooling effect, most people can raise their thermostat three to four degrees and feel just as comfortable. And that can mean savings of around 25 percent on your cooling costs. Remember - for every degree you raise the air conditioning thermostat, you can save 7 to 10 percent on cooling costs.
Shading and evaporative cooling from trees can reduce the air temperature around your home. A well-placed tree, shrub or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak and reduce overall energy bills. Air conditioners will work more efficiently when shaded by trees or shrubs. However, make sure the trees and shrubs do not block the airflow.
- Ventilate attic
When the outside temperature surpasses 90 degrees, your attic can easily reach 140 degrees. Adequately sized vents and/or an attic fan can help keep hot air from building up.
- Window air conditioners
When using a window air conditioner, eliminate air leaks between the air conditioner and the window by installing foam insulation or weather stripping.
- Windows and doors
Close storm windows and doors to keep hot air out and cool air in.