1. Air conditioning units drive much of the energy use in the summer. In the U.S. they use roughly 6 percent of all the electricity produced in the country. Switching to high-efficiency ACs can reduce a unit’s energy use by half. Also, keeping windows covered during the day to block out the sun’s heat will help keep the house cool.
  2. If you can, choose an energy-efficient refrigerator. They’re more expensive, but if you’re going to spend that little bit extra on any one kitchen appliance, make it the fridge. It’s switched on 24/7, so having an energy-efficient model really helps save energy and lower your bills.
  3. When using the washing machine, choose a cold rinse. It’s also best to make the most of every wash cycle by filling the machine–or making sure you use a half-load setting if it isn’t full.
  4. Hang your clothes to dry. It’s hot outside, the sun is shining and clothes dryers are very energy hungry, so hang your clothes on a line or drying rack.
  5. Change those old lightbulbs for energy-efficient options. Chances are, your kitchen is one of the most well-lit rooms in your house. Replacing traditional or low-efficiency halogen lightbulbs with energy-saving LED (light-emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs could help reduce your energy bills. Although energy-efficient bulbs can be more expensive, they tend to last much longer – sometimes for many years – so you shouldn’t have to change them again for a while.


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