Published June 3, 2020
With the passing of Memorial Day, we have officially started the Minnesota summer! Minnesotans relish our summers, and CUB recognizes this summer is going to feel a lot different due to COVID-19. Many people will be at home more than normal. More time at home will likely result in more energy use. Many utilities charge higher summer rates so in addition to using more energy, you may be paying more for what you use. For those concerned about their energy bills, it’s more important than ever to work to manage your usage while staying comfortable. We’ve provided some tips to help you manage your energy use this summer.
- Adjust your air conditioning. The Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature at 78 degrees, but you can set it as high as you are comfortable. If you have central air, check out this video CUB put together for more detailed tips.
- Use a programmable thermostat to control when your air conditioning turns on and off during the day. You may find that you’re comfortable with the temperature several degrees higher during the day than at night.
- Take advantage of A/C cycling programs offered by your local utility that provides a discount for allowing your utility to cycle your air conditioner on and off during peak energy times.
- Use fans instead of, or with, air conditioners. Fans can make the room feel 4 degrees cooler. The fans make you feel cooler, but they don’t actually cool the air, so turn them off when you leave the room.
- Remove obstacles from air vents and fans to ensure proper air flow throughout your home.
- Avoid placing lamps or TVs near the thermostat. Thermostats can detect heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
- Open windows in the early morning and evening to allow cool air to flow in. On hot days, close windows and curtains in the day to maintain cool temperatures.
- Use bathroom fans to suck out heat and humidity from bathrooms.
- Avoid cooking, baking, and running the clothes dryer or other appliances that generate heat during the warmest parts of the day. It’s a great excuse to do some outdoor cooking and put off some of those household duties!
- If you need to replace your air conditioner or another appliance, look for an Energy Star rated model — it will use less energy and save you money in the long run. You can probably also get a rebate from your utility for an energy-efficient unit.