Green Living: How to Conserve Energy this Summer
Staying comfortable in the summer and conserving energy at the same time doesn’t sound possible, but it can be done. It just takes a little effort and planning.
Keep the Heat out of the Kitchen
The kitchen is where a lot of energy is wasted in the summer. Using a traditional oven creates heat for the air conditioner to pump out. It’s a double whammy. Whenever possible, cook outside! It’s fun, and it keeps the heat out of the kitchen. Microwaves and those little counter-top ovens also work well to conserve energy.
Fill the Fridge
A full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty or near-empty refrigerator. This is because warm air rushes into the empty space every time the door is opened. Cold produce and liquids block that hot air when the door is opened. Fill it with everyone’s favorite beverage or produce.
Keep it Cool
When washing clothes, use cold water for the task whenever possible. This keeps the water heater from coming on adding more heat to the house. When cooking, never run the hot water for the sake of getting hot water to put on the stove. The burner will raise the temperature of the water quick enough, saving energy and water in the long run.
Use the Sun
The clothes dryer is another double whammy on energy. Always keep the lint trap clean. Be sure the vent pipe is clear of lint build-up. Wherever possible, use a clothes line to dry clothes. This is the greenest method possible for this task.
Heat is radiated through glass. Older windows allow a great deal of heat to come in in this way, especially in early morning or late evening. Replacing them with more energy efficient windows is the ideal solution. A cheaper and less efficient solution is to put up blinds to block the sun’s rays.
Save the Trees
Trees and bushes planted to block the morning and evening rays of the sun is a nice way to conserve energy. This fix takes time, but it pays off big dividends in the end. It raises the value of the home dramatically if the landscaping is in good taste.
It’s all about Efficiency
Air conditioner efficiency should always be maintained to conserve energy. Keeping the filter changed allows air to flow over the coils unrestricted. In some cases, the coils and blades on the squirrel cage fan may get dirty and restrict air flow. The outdoor unit needs to be kept clean also. Have a Columbus furnace contractor check the unit at the beginning of summer to keep it running efficiently.