Triple digit temperatures can literally make Oklahoma a hot spot in the summertime, but keeping the house cool when the heat is on does not have to scorch the wallet and singe the budget.
“It’s possible for consumers who are budget conscious and watching their energy use to save both energy and money without affecting their level of comfort at home,” said Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension housing and consumer specialist.
For Oklahoma families, heating and cooling the home accounts for about half of their energy costs, which means focusing on creative ways to control heating and cooling the house could lead to significant savings.
One strategy for corralling energy use and costs is to properly operate the home’s thermostat, Peek said.
For instance, in the summer, set the thermostat to 78 while at home, but bump it up a little higher when the family is away from home for an extended period of time, such as while at work or school.
Ceiling fans also can boost a family’s comfort at home.
“With a ceiling fan running, you can raise the thermostat without compromising anyone’s comfort,” Peek said. “On days when it isn’t too hot, open the windows and use ceiling fans to cool your house.”
Homeowners also can add insulation in the attic. However, because insulation does settle over time, more insulation may be required if rafters are visible.
Finally, keeping the air conditioner in good working order with regular maintenance ensures the cooling system runs as efficiently as possible, while sealing cracks around windows and doors will help block hot air from leaking into the house.
For more energy saving tips, contact the nearest county Extension office and visit www.energy.gov.