Summer energy-saving ideas

Fill up your dishwasher for better energy efficiency.Get yourself (and your home) ready for the summer heat wave by following these energy-saving tips:

• Don’t use the oven. Cook your food on the grill or in the microwave instead.

• Fill up the refrigerator. Your fridge was made to run at optimal energy efficiency while full. So make a big trip to the grocery store or Costco and stock up for the summer months.

• Turn down the temperature on your water heater. Water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home.

• Use the dishwasher. The dishwasher uses less energy than washing dishes by hand, as long as you run a full load.

• Turn the thermostat up  a couple degrees. Whether you’re home or away, kicking the thermostat up a degree or three is the ideal way to save money during summer months. A ceiling fan allows you to turn up the thermostat 4 degrees without any noticeable difference in temperature.

• Install efficient lights. Incandescent lights turn most energy into heat, not light.

• Dry your clothes outside. Give your dryer the summer off and hang your clothes outside to dry. Or hang them up inside to dry.

• Change your air filter. A clean air filter keeps your cooling system from overworking. Make sure you change your filter every 30 to 90 days.

Photo via Andrea Castelli