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Twenty Summer Energy Tips That Really Work provided by City of Tallahassee Utility Services

  1. Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day (all directions).
  2. Wear light weight clothing (short sleeves, shorts, cotton).
  3. Set the air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Raise it a few degrees higher when away in the day. A lower air conditioning temperature makes your costs much higher. Setting your air conditioner at 70 degrees instead of 78 can almost double your operating cost!
  4. Don’t choose a lower air conditioning temperature when you first turn it on. It won’t cool faster –- whenever it’s running it’s cooling as fast as it can. Set low, it cools longer, not faster.
  5. When weather is mild, use fans instead of the air conditioner. Your central air conditioner will use about 100 times more energy than a fan at medium speed.
  6. If you have ceiling fans, run the fans and the air conditioner at the same time but set the air conditioner a few degrees higher, to 80 or 81 degrees. With the breeze from a fan, you should feel as cool as you would at 78 degrees with no fans – but you’ll reduce your costs by about 15%-25%.
  7. Use a microwave instead of the range/oven. The microwave doesn’t heat the kitchen.
  8. Keep windows and doors closed while air conditioning.
  9. Change the air conditioner’s air filter monthly during heavy use. When it’s clogged, air flow is restricted -- cooling costs rise, and your system may eventually suffer a compressor failure with a $1,000+ repair bill!
  10. Arrange items in your refrigerator for quick removal and return. Your refrigerator cools the food but heats the kitchen! The longer the door is open, the longer it runs, heating the kitchen and raising your air conditioning costs.
  11. Vent the clothes dryer to the out-of-doors. Otherwise it pours heat and moisture into the house air.
  12. Clean the dryer lint filter frequently and check the outdoor vent opening. When lint slows the airflow, the dryer runs longer. When the vent is clogged, the clothes get a long hot damp costly tumbling.
  13. Drink plenty of cool liquids. Avoid caffeine or alcohol. Eat lightly. Cook outdoors.
  14. Plant shade trees. Outside shade can reduce air conditioning costs 30%. Shade on the east and west is most important.
  15. Seal air leaks around doors and windows. Use caulk and weatherstripping.
  16. With central AC or heat pump, keep all air conditioning supply registers open, don’t close off rooms or registers. That doesn’t save money, and it may lead to costly problems.
  17. Check for air duct leaks. Duct leaks in the attic or under the house cost you money.
  18. Run the AC thermostat set on “AUTO”, never on FAN.
  19. Keep up the habit of turning off lights as you leave a room, especially in summer. Lights add a lot of heat to the room. 99% of a light’s energy use is converted to heat, 1% to light. Use only as much light as you need.
  20. Call the City’s Energy Services office and schedule a free home energy audit. Your energy auditor will have seen all of the 105 situations described in this book, and more. Let us bring that experience to your residence and put it to use. Call 891-4YOU (4968) and press 41 for a free energy audit.

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Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850