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Summer Conservation Tips for the Home

Ways to save energy during the summer.

  • Human comfort range is between 72°F and 78°F. To extend the comfort range to 82 F, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph. A slow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow.
    • As an alternative to air conditioners, consider using ceiling, table or whole-house fans, which use much less power - about the same amount of energy as a 100-watt light bulb.
    • Use fans to increase comfort levels at higher air conditioning thermostat settings (78° minimum). Ceiling fans permit raising the thermostat setting on an air conditioning system 4 to 6 degrees.
  • Shut off your air conditioner and leave the windows closed when you're not going to be home for an extended period of time.
  • Try not to use a humidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The humidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
  • Buy a high-efficiency air conditioner: for room air conditioners, the energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating should be above 10; for central air conditioners, look for a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating above 12.
  • Close your blinds, shades or draperies during the hottest part of the day. Install white window shades or mini-blinds. Mini-blinds can reduce solar heat gain by 40%-50%.
    • Install awnings on south-facing windows, where there's insufficient roof overhang or vegetation to provide shade.
    • Hang tightly woven screens or bamboo shades outside the window during the summer to stop 60%-80% of the sun's heat from getting to the windows.
    • Especially in well-insulated buildings, keeping windows closed during daylight hours and open at night can significantly reduce cooling costs.
  • You can help get rid of unwanted heat through ventilation if the temperature of the incoming air is 77°F or lower. Check the outside temperature and open your windows and use window fans when the temperature allows this.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room or when they aren't needed.
  • Cook outdoors, use a microwave oven or prepare cold meals to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in about one-fourth the time.
  • Avoid cooking during the hottest part of the day. Try to use the range top more, the oven less. Cook in large quantities and freeze in meal-size portions.
  • Use the short cycle on your dishwasher. Wash only full loads.
  • Set your refrigerator at 40°, your freezer at zero. If you refrigerator has an "efficiency" setting, make sure it is on.
  • Most of the energy in clothes washing is used to heat the water. Use warm or cold water when possible, and always rinse with cold water.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Use warm or cold settings to dry clothes. When possible, use an outdoor clothesline rather than a dryer.
  • Pumping water uses electricity. Don't run the water when brushing your teeth or shaving, and limit washing cars and watering lawns during power shortages.
  • Pool pumps should only be operated during evening hours. This eases electric demand during peak usage hours. Check water quality frequently.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120°F, which is adequate for normal use. Also, consider turning off electric water heaters during periods of high electrical use or public appeals for electric curtailment.

NH Office of Energy and Planning
Governor Hugh J. Gallen State Office Park
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor  |  107 Pleasant Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2155  |  fax: (603) 271-2615