Cutting summer energy costs? No sweat

VERMONT —  Summer officially began June 21. With warmer days on the horizon Efficiency Vermont offers tips to stay cool while spending less on energy:
•  Block the heat. Caulk around window and exterior doorframes and use weather stripping on exterior doors. When it’s hotter outside than inside, close windows and draw window coverings against direct sunlight.
•  Is the house hotter than the outdoors? Open the windows and use a window fan — blowing out. That will push out hot air and pull in cool air through other, nearby open windows.
•  Control moisture. Use the bath fan to remove shower heat and moisture. Don’t have a bath fan? Install a quiet, low-energy bath fan with the Energy Star label. Be sure to duct it to the outdoors to avoid creating moisture and mold problems. And if the kitchen fan exhausts to the outdoors, use it while cooking or baking.
•  Adjust schedules. When possible, use cooler evening hours for tasks that produce heat and/or moisture, like dishwashing, baking, laundry, showers, and baths.
•  Make lights cool and smart. 90 percent of an incandescent light bulb’s energy is lost as heat. Replace those hot bulbs with Energy Star labeled LEDs, which stay cooler and use about 80 percent less energy. With “smart” lighting, turn off lights remotely, set automated timers, and make it look like someone’s at home — great for peace of mind during your summer vacation.
•  Dry clothes for free. Hang laundry outside to dry. Save the cost of running the clothes dryer while reducing moisture in the house.
•  Using A/C? Keep heat out by seeing that there are no gaps along the sides of window air conditioners or between window sashes. Clean the air conditioner filters regularly and keep the front and back of air conditioners unobstructed.
•  Buying an Air Conditioner?  Check out Efficiency Vermont’s new $200 rebate for innovative Energy Star Emerging Technology Award window units. Efficient Variable Output technology varies the speed of the internal compressor motor to continuously control the temperature, which means regulating the temperature more quietly and saving energy. At efficiencyvermont.com/window-AC, find a local retailer, qualified products, and guidance on finding a model that’s appropriately sized for the room that needs cooling.
•  Time for a heat pump? A ductless heat pump unit is a tremendous energy saver for both cooling and heating. Numerous incentives are available right now — up to $500 point-of-purchase discounts from Efficiency Vermont plus additional $250-$575 incentives from various partners. More information is available at efficiencyvermont.com/heatpump
•  Button up the home. An insulated, air-sealed house stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Rebates and financing are available, whether for do-it-yourselfers or Efficiency Excellence Network contractor, to do a whole-house assessment and make improvements. Learn more at tinyurl.com/EVbutton-up.
•  Do-It-Yourselfer? Find tips and resources to help air seal and insulate a home yourself at efficiencyvermont.com/DIY.
•  Considering Efficient Windows? Be aware that the purchase price is rarely paid back by energy savings. This investment usually makes the most sense when replacing a non-functional window or putting a window in a space for the first time. Make windows perform nearly as well as new ones but at a fraction of the cost. Replace cracked panes and glazing, run a bead of caulk around window frames, and use easily installed Low-E storm windows.
Have Questions? Contact Efficiency Vermont’s customer support team with any questions about energy use and to get tips to help take control of energy bills. Call 888-921-5990 or send an email to [email protected].

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