DETROIT, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With the official start of summer just around the corner, DTE Energy is offering the following tips to help customers save money and keep cool:
Around the house
-- Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep summer heat out.
-- Keep the fireplace damper and doors tightly closed to prevent cooled air from escaping.
-- Run the dishwasher in the cooler part of the day when the lower temperature can better offset the heat and humidity the appliance will produce.
-- Set the air conditioner thermostat at the highest comfortable setting. When leaving home for more than five hours, raise the thermostat five to 10 degrees. Raising the thermostat just a couple degrees can cut cooling costs by as much as five percent.
-- Regular maintenance is important to operating air conditioners efficiently. Check filters at least once a month. Dirty filters cause air conditioners to work harder and use more energy. Many filters can be removed, washed and dried, and reinstalled. Check the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer for more information.
-- Keep air conditioning units free of obstructions, inside and out, so air can flow freely. Outdoor units should be free of bushes, and leaf and grass debris. Indoors, move furniture and draperies to prevent blocking window units, vents and air returns.
-- Position window air conditioners on the shaded side of the house, away from direct sunlight. Window units generally are not designed to cool more than one room. Close the doors leading to uncooled parts of the house for more efficient cooling.
-- In homes with central air conditioning, leave room doors and air registers open so the system can operate effectively.
-- Make sure ceiling fan blades rotate clockwise in the summer months to draw cooler air up from the floor.
-- A window fan in an apartment or one-story home should be put in a window on the warmest side of the structure; in a two-story home, put it in an upstairs window. Fans draw cooler air inside during the night and circulate air during the day. Make sure draperies are secured away from the fan for better air circulation and safety.
-- Prevent heat build-up in the attic by opening attic vents and making sure any lower vents are not blocked. A cooler attic benefits the living area below. An exhaust fan or whole-house fan mounted in the attic will pull hot air out of the attic and living areas and draw cooler air in.
-- Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen while cooking. The savings in your cooling costs will far outweigh the fan's electricity use.
For more ideas on how to save energy this summer, visit DTE Energy's energy efficiency website, YourEnergySavings.com. Be sure to check out the site's interactive house that has how-to videos, seasonal energy savings tips, and information on energy efficiency programs and rebates available to DTE Energy customers.
YourEnergySavings.com features DTE Energy's free online program, MyEnergy Analyzer, which helps customers evaluate their energy use and offers customized recommendations on how to lower their energy bills.
The site also has new interactive calculators that allow customers to add up how much they can save by taking energy efficiency steps like switching from incandescent to CFL bulbs, using a programmable thermostat and installing energy efficient appliances.
SOURCE DTE Energy