Conserve energy as you beat the summer heat
As temperatures rise in the summer, everyone in Minneapolis needs to cool off – a lot – all at the same time, and that takes energy. Although we may not be seeing record-setting temperatures right now, July 17 is historically the hottest day of the year, and that’s typically our highest electrical use day. But this is precisely the time we need to consume less fuel.
There are many ways to save energy without sacrificing comfort.
- Xcel Energy Savers Switch. If you qualify to sign up for Savers Switch with Xcel Energy, youll get a 15-percent discount on your home electricity charges from June through September each year you participate. A licensed electrician will install a small remote-controlled switch on the outside of your home near your central air conditioner. On hot, humid summer days 10 to 15 days at most each year Xcel Energy may activate Savers Switch. This cycles your air conditioner off and on at 15- to 20-minute intervals. Your furnace fan stays on, circulating already-cooled air throughout your home. Youll stay cool and comfortable; most customers dont even notice when Savers Switch is activated. Residential www.xcelenergy.com.
- Plant trees for shade. Deciduous trees those that produce leaves in the spring and lose them in the fall shade your house from the sun during summer but let it warm your house in winter. Shading your home could save up to 8 percent on cooling costs. Plant a deciduous tree on the south side of your house.
- Open windows on cool nights. On cool days and nights, turn off your air conditioner and open your windows. Don’t open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house.
- Use a programmable thermostat. This device can save as much as 12 percent on cooling costs by automatically turning your cooling system up or down to coincide with your daily routine. For example, set your temperature to 85 degrees when you're away.
For more ideas on conserving energy, visit Sustainability Initiatives.
July 16, 2009
Published Jul. 16, 2009