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Summer Energy Tips

Summer is here and that means BBQ's, Beach trips, vacations, and Air Conditioning bills.

It seems that New Englander's can never fully escape extreme weather conditions, except for a couple of weeks in the spring and full where the weather is just perfect. The rest of year is either freezing, snowy, or a thousand degrees and you can eat the air.  It might not be that bad but we do put a lot of effort and money into staying comfortable.  Now that it is officially summer we thought it would be perfect to outline some helpful energy tips.

While we've had a couple of days in the mid 80's, we have been lucky that we haven't seen any days in the 90's yet.  This has made so I haven't needed to put in my windowed ac units yet. Were there some nights that I could have used them, yes, but they weren't needed. I know that people have already put there's in and this brings me to our first tip.  Size is important when choosing any type of AC. Modern window units have auto settings that will keep a room at a determined temperature. If the unit is too small than it will continuously run using a lot of electricity without ever getting the room to the proper temperature. If you get too big of an AC unit the unit will cool rooms that you may not want to have cooled. 

The all important ceiling fan and the debate does the fan cool when you're not in the room?  The easy answer is no, the complicated answer is not really but it may feel like it is cooler.  Fans general create a wind chill similar to how the outside observed temperature in the winter can be in the twenties but feel like single digits because of the wind. If you're in a room that would normally be in the 80's it could feel like the room temperature is in the 70's, thanks to the breeze of the wind created by the fan hitting you.  Now this isn't experienced when the fan is running and you're not in the room, since you can't feel wind that is being created in another room.  That doesn't mean that the fan isn't blowing the hot air out of the room, maybe it's blowing it outside, maybe the hot air is being blown into another room. Either way it's better to have the fan running while you're in the room and to turn it off when you leave.

One thing that most people don't think about is their water heater tanks. Most water tanks work by storing unheated water in the tank and then heating it up. The temperature is based on a dial on the outside of the tank that can be raised or lowered.  As the tank empties due to laundry, dishes, or showers, more water is put in and then heated. This uses a lot of energy, so think about using the cold water setting on your washing machine. Also turn the dial down on your water tank to keep it from heating the water too much. Nothing beats a cool shower on a 90+ degree anyways!

Another helpful tip is to cook outdoors as much as possible, as cooking inside can raise the temperature in your home by 10-15 degrees. This can make your AC run a lot harder than it would usually need to. 

If you have any other tips please leave a comment with them!

Written by,

Robert Stahelski

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