CONSUMER’s ENERGY: How to save money and stay cool

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Consumers Energy is offering tips on how to beat the heat this summer and stay cool while saving money on your energy bill.

Here are some tips:
• Buy an air conditioner with a high energy efficiency rating (EER). It’s printed on the EnergyGuide label attached to the unit. (A unit with an EER of 10 will cost half as much to operate as one with an EER of 5)
• If you have central air conditioning, clean leaves and debris from the unit. To save energy, make sure they’re not too close to the compressor because they can block airflow
• Install your air conditioner in the shade. When it’s in direct sunlight, it uses more energy.

• Cool air from your window air conditioner can flow into open registers. Cover or close them so cool air doesn’t escape
• Don’t cool unused areas. Close doors and registers to cut energy costs
• Operate your stove, oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside. They add extra heat to your home and make your air conditioner work harder
• Set the air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees during the day when you’re home and higher when you’re away
• Install an automatic setback or programmable thermostat that starts your air conditioner shortly before you get home
• Reduce air conditioning needs by installing an attic fan. Hot air trapped in stuffy attics sinks into rooms below, adding to your summer cooling costs
• A ceiling fan cools fast and costs less than air conditioning

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