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Stay cool this summer while saving energy and money

July 1, 2024

Have you noticed that your air conditioner seems to be working harder? Though we don’t suffer the high humidity of the southeastern states, anything above 32% can certainly affect our comfort level.

Here are some tips to help you beat the heat:

  • Use ceiling fans or oscillating fans. They help evaporate moisture from your skin, making you feel cooler. In the summer, operate ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction. You should turn fans off in rooms that are not in use.
  • In addition to raising your thermostat to 78 degrees, make sure your air conditioner is well maintained and functioning efficiently. That means replacing filters on schedule.
  • Take shorter showers to save on water heating costs. Even if your water is heated by gas, that’s still a good idea.
  • Run large appliances such as the washer, dryer and dishwasher after 8 p.m. or early in the morning. Running these appliances at cooler hours saves the air conditioner from working as hard.
  • Here’s an easy way to lighten the load on your clothes dryer. Before you dry a load of damp clothing, toss in a clean, dry towel. The towel will absorb excess water, shortening the drying time. If your dryer does not include an autosense feature to determine drying time, remember to reduce the timer to about half of what you normally would. Remove the towel about 15 minutes after the cycle begins.
  • Plant shade trees. You may not see immediate energy benefits, but in a few years, you’ll be glad you did. You can get trees from Trico through our Operation Cool Shade program. Each year you can purchase up to three 5-gallon shade trees from Trico for $15 each. Five-gallon trees are not very big but give them a few years and they will provide shade. Trees for 2024 are sold out. Trees will be available again for purchase in January 2025.
  • Keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.
  • Select energy-efficient products when you buy new cooling equipment. Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you compare energy usage. See the efficiency standards for information on minimum ratings and look for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing new products.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. Small appliances and electronics use energy even when not in use.
  • Smart plugs are inexpensive and offer convenient solutions for scheduling and controlling your favorite electronic devices. With smart plugs, you can easily manage your coffee maker, lighting, home office equipment, video game consoles and more. Smart plugs can help you manage devices through a smart phone app, your home assistant or voice control.

For more energy saving tips, visit