Post Content

We’re all looking for ways to keep cool this steamy summer. But as we turn on our fans and air conditioners, we’re also increasing our bills. If you don’t want your cooling efforts to cost you a bundle, you can take some simple actions to save energy and money, and help fight climate change…while staying cool.

The U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program offers these low to no-cost energy efficient cooling tips to beat the heat.

* Program your thermostat to work around your family’s summer schedule—set it a few degrees higher (such as 78 degrees) when no one is home, so your cooling system isn’t cooling an empty house. With proper use, programmable thermostats can save you about $180 a year in energy costs.

* Check your HVAC system’s air filter every month. Change the filter if it looks dirty, and change it at least every three months. A dirty filter will slow air flow and make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.

* Run your ceiling fan to create a cool breeze. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and use your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent. Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so when you leave the room make sure to turn off the fan.

* Pull curtains and shades closed before you leave your home to keep the sun’s rays from overheating the interior. If you can, move container trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows to serve as shade.

For help with these and other energy saving actions, contact Mass Save, an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, which work closely with the Department of Energy Resources.

 

Written By:


Director, Marketing & Stakeholder Engagement

Susan Kaplan is a strategic communications and marketing professional with a passion for environment and clean energy issues, who has changed processes, cultures, and behaviors in government, business, and healthcare. As a corporate environmental stewardship pioneer at Polaroid Corporation in the 1990s, Susan modified business practices and marketed environmental attributes. Other professional responsibilities preceded and followed, but the chance to be part of the clean energy leadership team at DOER has been a welcome return to her roots. In her current position, she develops messages and strategies to engage Massachusetts’ businesses and homeowners in energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy markets. When work hours are over, Susan heads to the mountains and into the woods with her family.

Recent Posts

Banking on Residential Solar Power posted on Sep 16

Banking on Residential Solar Power

“It’s a house, it’s a car, it’s a … solar panel?” In the coming months, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is hoping a new residential solar loan program will spark that question and interest in renewable power at local lending institutions across the Commonwealth.   …Continue Reading Banking on Residential Solar Power

Building Efficiency Gurus Exchange Ideas on Just About Everything posted on Sep 5

Building Efficiency Gurus Exchange Ideas on Just About Everything

The American Council for Energy Efficient-Economy (ACEEE) selected me to present a paper on the Commonwealth’s Green Communities Program at ACEEE’s Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. It felt like going to college – the seniors all knew each other, while the freshmen were   …Continue Reading Building Efficiency Gurus Exchange Ideas on Just About Everything

Comparing Homes – Energy-Saving Enters the Equation posted on Aug 28

Comparing Homes – Energy-Saving Enters the Equation

Until recently, there was no way to easily figure energy efficiency into a home buying decision. Enter HomeMPG, a Massachusetts energy-saving initiative to pilot an energy performance score (EPS) in residential homes. This “asset” rating that’s analogous to a car’s MPG rating. Behavior is taken out of the equation so that any home’s energy use can be compared to any other home, allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison.