By ecoRI News staff
Summer’s heat and humidity are upon us. Here are a few tips to conserve energy and save money when attempting to stay cool:
Run heat-generating appliances such as ovens and clothes dryers early in the morning or late at night — or not at all. A clothesline will save the $100 or so a year it can cost to run your clothes dryer.
If possible, keep your air conditioner out of the sun. Air conditioners work best when kept cool. Installing one in a north-facing window is usually best.
Installing a sunlight-reflecting “cool roof” or adding an approved coating to an existing roof can reduce temperatures up there by 50-60 degrees, trimming air-conditioning costs up to 20 percent.
Search your home for leaky ducts. Most homes lose about 20 percent of their cooling energy through leaky ducts.
Trees and shrubs can shade your home, shielding it from the sun’s intense summer rays. Trees also cool the surrounding air by releasing moisture.
Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day. This keeps strong sunlight from heating your home.
Insulate the garage, attic and cellar. Families with larger homes and empty nesters consider not cooling the wing of the house no one ever goes into.