A few tips I picked up from a Houston Chronicle article:
There are many steps families can take to hold down cooling costs that don’t require big investments, such as installing ceiling fans. Other projects may need some long-term planning and budgeting, such as the replacement of a central air conditioning unit. But steps small and large can pay off in energy savings, experts say.
A few more:
Amann says consumers can take a number of small steps to cut fuel consumption this summer:
- Clean or replace filters on air conditioners
- Turn down the temperature setting on your water heater to 120 degrees
- Use the energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, and clothes washers and dryers
- Install a programmable thermostat so energy isn’t wasted when you’re not home
- Use cold water rather than hot to wash clothes
- Substitute compact fluorescent bulbs for incandescents.
Amann said homeowners also should take the time to look at bigger projects, such as improving attic insulation.
Another resource is www.energystar.gov/home.
I have an apartment and not a house, but a few of these will be helpful to me as well. Good luck surviving the summer.