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Bill's Bright Ideas

Stay Cool and Save Energy.

Keeping your home cool while the weather is warm doesn’t have to be tough on your wallet. Simple tactics like using your windows to your advantage, maximizing fan use and efficiently operating your thermostat can go a long way in keeping your cooling costs down.

If you’re using a central air conditioner to cool your home, try keeping the thermostat at 78 degrees.

In fact, each degree above 78 that you set your thermostat can shave an additional six to seven percent off your cooling costs. Try adjusting air conditioners without a thermostat to a lower setting to achieve similar savings.

Fans may seem like an antiquated way to cool your home, but a ceiling fan can be a great way to create a cool breeze and keep the air circulating.

Stuck cooking in the kitchen? Using an exhaust fan to blow out the hot air can save on the energy your cooling system would usually use to cool down the room.

Same goes when you take a shower or bath. Using the bathroom fan is a great way to remove the heat and humidity from your home.

Speaking of cooking, the summer is a great time to get outside and grill. Using your oven or stove can generate heat on an already hot day.

Besides, who wants a hamburger or hot dog cooked on the stovetop anyway? No grill? No problem. Using a microwave or countertop appliance is also a great way to avoid generating heat and still enjoying a home cooked meal.

It may be your first inclination to keep the windows closed at all times, but if it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open the windows while you sleep.

In the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air. Closing the blinds and drapes for the day also keeps the strong midday sunlight from heating your home.

A Mass Save Home Energy Assessment is a great way for customers to find out about your home’s energy use.

During the assessment, customers may receive a customized energy efficiency report and recommendation, installation of no-cost energy saving devices like efficient light bulbs and programmable thermostats, and sealing of air leaks.

To find out more, visit MassSave.com or WMECo’s Energy Efficiency section. In my next column, I’ll discuss the great energy efficiency education programs and fundraisers available for local schools.