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2014-07-03

Energy-saving tips for summertime

From BEC Special to the Courier

This summer, choose to change your energy habits and your wallet will thank you.
• Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away. For every degree you raise your thermostat, you can save about two percent on your cooling. Ceiling fans are a more energy-efficient way to keep cool. Always take into account health considerations and be sure to drink plenty of fluids in warm weather.
• To help minimize peak loads for your electric cooperative, avoid running your appliances during peak hours, 2 to 6 pm.
• Do your laundry efficiently by using the warm- or cold-water setting for washing your clothes. Always use cold water to rinse clothes.
• Line-dry clothes whenever you can. When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the lint trap after each use.
• Operate swimming pool filters and cleaning sweeps efficiently. Reduce the operating time of your pool filter and automatic cleaning sweep to four to five hours during off-peak time.
• Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use.
• Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use-most new electronics use electricity even when switched off. Turn computers and printers off at a power strip.
• Unplug and recycle any spare refrigerator in the garage if you don't really need it.
• Opt for a microwave. Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove.
• Push a button to wash your dishes. It may come as a surprise to know that your dishwasher can use less water than washing dishes by hand. But remember to only wash full loads and then let dishes air-dry to save even more.
• Fill up the fridge. Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open, so your fridge doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool. The same is true for the freezer.