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Mayday! Mayday! Summer Is on the Way

It’s May 1, which means the days are getting longer and temperatures are rising, so now is the time to make sure your home is prepared for summer energy efficiency.

Nine Quick Summer Efficiency Tricks

  • Install a Programmable Thermostat
    You want your air conditioning working only when you need it, and not wasting energy cooling an empty house. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your AC to shut down when you leave for the day and turn on just before you’re expected home.

  • Stop the Leaks
    Stand inside your home and close the door. At the bottom, is there any light coming in from the outside? At your windows, do you see any gaps around the frames? If so, your inside air is getting out! A simple application of weather-stripping can make your air conditioning significantly more efficient just by keeping the cool air inside where it belongs.

  • Shut the Front Door (and All the Others)
    Of course, all the weather-stripping in the world won’t work if the door isn’t shut tightly. So after you enter or exit your home, check to see if the door is truly closed. And while you’re at it, do the same when opening and closing the doors to your fridge and freezer.

  • Made in the Shade
    Planting leafy trees or installing blackout blinds in south- and west-facing windows can help you battle the sun’s harsh summer rays without turning your AC all the way down to 60 degrees.

  • Inspection and Detection
    A professional inspection can find all sorts of problems – and fix issues before they turn into higher energy costs. Many AC service companies run specials on inspections in the spring, so it’s a good time to tune your system up before it needs to run.

  • Reset Your Ceiling Fan
    Small but important: A fan running counter-clockwise better circulates cooler air.

  • Let There be Lights Out
    This tip is good all year long! A brightly-illuminated room is a waste of energy if no one is in it. So when you leave a room, make it a habit to flip the light switch. With longer daylight hours, summer is a particularly good time to conserve energy by keeping the lights off.

  • Pull the Plug
    Your fridge and freezer need to stay energized all the time, but your toasters and coffee makers do not. Neither do hair dryers, phone chargers, gaming consoles, or other secondary appliances, and shutting your computer all the way down when you’re not using it can add up to a lot of saved energy over time. If your cable box has an option to shut down when not in use, toggle that option. Those boxes are energy hogs!

  • It’s Everyone’s Responsibility
    Small changes can add up to a big difference for your monthly energy costs — and change is easier when everyone is involved. Make sure your children know what to unplug, and challenge them to make sure the doors and windows are closed and the lights are turned off. The best way to teach is by example!

The enjoyment to be found in a Michigan summer is unrivaled, so don’t let your energy bills spoil the fun. These tips from AMP will go a long way toward freeing up your mind to focus on family fun, not family energy costs.