It’s July and chances are, if you were born anytime before the 1980’s, when you were a kid the closest thing you had to an air conditioner was a spray bottle and a fan! It was kiddie pools; popsicles; and a shower consisted of jumping through the sprinkler. If your family was anything like mine, on hot, humid days we didn’t wash a lot of dishes because most of our meals were eaten off paper plates; lunches were cold sandwiches; dinner was usually cooked on the charcoal grill. We hung the laundry on the line to dry—along with piles of gigantic beach towels we never bothered to wash because they were just going to get wet again.
Most of these energy saving techniques (like our music) have stood the test of time. But if you decide you’d rather shower indoors, or sit inside enjoying the air-conditioned comfort, there are some tried and true ways to enjoy modern conveniences while saving energy.
- Set your air conditioner thermostat as high as comfortable – we recommend 78ºF or higher when you're home. Using a programmable thermostat can help you save money and energy by controlling the temperature even when you’re not home. Residential customers can take advantage of Mass Save discounted prices and rebated WiFi thermostats as well. You may qualify to have wireless thermostats installed as part of a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment at no cost to you.
- Have your central air conditioner tuned up and clean or replace filters monthly for more efficient operation.
- Keep the blinds and windowsclosed during the day and open at night. This is a no-cost way to keep your home a little cooler.
- Turn off your ceiling fans when you’re not in the room. Remember – fans cool by creating a wind chill effect, so they will not actually lower the temperature in a room, and they become unnecessary when nobody is home.
- Minimize indoor heat: run the dryer and dishwasher at night on hot days and let your dishes air dry.
- Avoid heat-generating incandescent lighting and switch to LED lights; use a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill instead of the oven. It's best to avoid the use of major appliances between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. if possible.
- Set your water heater to 120ºF.
- Wash clothes in cold water and clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use.
Eliminate, or turn off, extra freezers or refrigerators if you can, especially if they spend the summer outdoors or in a garage. Mass Save is offering no cost pickup and haul away to residential electric customers who recycle their old, outdated, and inefficient refrigerators or freezers through the appliance recycling program and you’ll receive a $50 rebate as well.
If you sign up for a Mass Save no-cost home energy efficiency assessment you may qualify for spot sealing of leaks around your home’s windows or doors to help prevent cool air from escaping. The energy efficiency expert will also tell you how efficiently your appliances are running and if you qualify for any of the programs that help save money and pay for upgrades to your system, and replace old fashioned incandescent light bulbs with LEDs.
When it comes to saving energy who says you can’t teach a young dog old tricks!