COLUMBUS — Energy usage often sees a sharp increase during the hot summer months, and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) wants to share a few tips to help you cool down your home before cranking up the air conditioner.
NPPD Energy Efficiency Program Manager Cory Fuehrer says the average Nebraska home uses 10 percent of its annual energy to keep cool.
“Turning on your air conditioner can be inevitable during the hottest summer days, but if you follow a few tips, you may be able to limit its use,” Fuehrer said. “It’s all about keeping it cool and comfortable inside, while keeping the heat outside.”
Using shades or blinds during the day and keeping windows closed is a quick way to keep your home from heating up. The east and west windows receive the most impact from the suns infrared rays, and are important to keep covered, added Fuehrer.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends switching thermostats to cooling and setting them to 78° F while you are home during the day, and 85° when your house is unoccupied. Fuehrer says if it’s still too hot, using a ceiling or floor fan can help provide up to 4° of cooling comfort.
Cooking outside on the grill will also help keep temperatures down. Anytime you cook inside your home must use more electricity to remove the newly generated heat.
“Ensuring your air conditioning equipment is running efficiently could also help you cut energy use,” Fuehrer said. “Make sure the filter in your indoor air handler is changed regularly, and that your outdoor compressor unit is clear of debris with at least two-foot of cleared area surrounding it.”
Check nppd.com or with your local power provider to see if there are any incentives that can help you improve your daily energy use.