By Kate Mitchell
While there is plenty to love about summer in Michigan, not everything about the season is fun. Hot weather can be uncomfortable, dangerous and drive up your electric use as you try to cool your home or business. But high temperatures don’t have to mean high bills.
When coping with summer weather, try these tips to help keep your energy use down while keeping your family or workplace comfortable:
- Use a microwave or outdoor grill to cook instead of your oven, which adds extra heat into your home especially in the afternoon when outdoor temperatures hit their peak. If you do have to cook in the kitchen, turn on your exhaust fan to move the hot air outside.
- Let your dishes air dry in the dishwasher instead of using the heated drying feature, which can leak heat into your kitchen, raising indoor temperatures and humidity levels.
- Postpone doing laundry, washing your dishes or running the dishwasher until the evening when outdoor temperatures have cooled down a bit.
- Take quicker showers at a cooler temperature than normal. Steaming hot showers fill up your bathroom with hot humid air which can cause your air conditioner to work harder to cool the room back down.
- Use shading devices – blinds, curtains, window film and solar screens – on west and south-facing windows to block heat caused by sunlight in the summer.
- Check heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) filters monthly, especially during the summer. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system worker harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
- We give cash back rebates on air conditioner replacements and diagnostic tune ups. Click here to learn more.
- Download the free DTE Insight app to help track your energy usage this summer and take steps to reduce energy use and save on your energy bill.
Understanding your bill can make a difference, too. If you know more about what drives your energy costs, you can make the best decisions for your family or business to stay comfortable while keeping costs down. The four factors that impact your bill most are:
- Usage: This is the primary factor that impacts your monthly energy bill. It is the amount of energy used during a billing cycle. The HVAC system accounts for the most usage, so adjusting temperature settings can be a source of substantial savings.
- Weather: A couple of days of extreme weather can make heating and cooling equipment run longer, increasing your energy use. Prepare for hot days in ways that don’t involve cranking up the air conditioning. Use of fans for comfort and invest in window treatments that block heat and light.
- Days billed: Fewer days in the billing cycle typically results in a lower energy bill, compared with a billing cycle that has more days.
- Household or business changes: Having more people at home or in your business means more lights are on and more appliances are being used. Switch to energy efficient technology – like LED lighting and smart thermostats – to help keep costs down, even as life shifts.
Summer doesn’t have to be a strain on your electric bill. By planning ahead and making some adjustments, you can make the most of the warm weather without breaking the bank.
Find more information on how to save this summer at dteenergy.com/staycool.