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Tips to stay cool while saving money this summer

May 29, 2024 Ashley Cissna, EWEB Communications

Young playful girl on the floor smiling at a colorful electric fan

While the past few weeks have seen relatively moderate temperatures, we all know that here in the Pacific Northwest the weather can turn at any minute. As we enter June, we acknowledge the summer days are just ahead, which ultimately will mean high temperatures and little relief. These hot summer days can force even the most frugal among us to click on the air conditioning. However, running the A/C can cause a blow to the household budget and increase carbon emissions.

Here in Eugene, a typical room air conditioner running 24/7 will add about $26 a week to your electric bill. If you have a Ductless Heat Pump (DHP), cooling your house around the clock will cost around $12 a week.

In addition to the budget impact, cooling your home can warm the planet.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners add roughly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year—the equivalent of 30 coal-fired power plants.

Turning to the A/C is just one way to keep your home cool this summer. Fortunately we have many alternatives that can keep us cool with less energy use. 

Some of the tips below are free and can be used daily to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the warm months.

1. Let the night air in

Keep windows and doors closed during the hot part of the day, but after sunset, when the outside temperature dips, open your windows and leave them open throughout the night. Opening multiple windows creates a crossflow that increases ventilation and provides a cooling draft. By morning, your house will be nice and cool. Just be sure to close all the windows before it starts to heat up outside. 

2. Keep it dark

Use curtains or shades to keep sunlight from warming your home. If you still want a little sunlight, open the curtains on windows that don't face the sun directly. Bonus tip: Shading OUTSIDE the window is most effective because it stops the sun's heat before it can enter through the window.

3. Become a fan of fans

Fans use less energy than AC units and can extend the comfortable temperature range of your home. Placing a fan in an open window at night can help draw cool air into the room. Remember to turn off the fan when you're not in the room to help save energy.

4. Power down

Appliances can produce unnecessary heat. In the kitchen, using slow cookers, pressure cookers, or microwaves will keep your home cooler than using the stove or oven. Wait until you have a full load to run your clothes washer and dishwasher, and run them in the evening when it's cooler. Using energy during "off peak" hours can also help reduce carbon emissions.

Invest in an energy-efficiency upgrades

Properly insulating your attic, walls, floor, and ducts will keep cool air inside and hot air outside. If you decide investing in air conditioning is necessary, consider a Ductless Heat Pump. Ductless systems provide significant bill savings, improve air quality, and offer year-round comfort with a built-in air conditioner. 

This summer, moderate-income customers can qualify to double their energy efficiency rebate on ductless heat pumps, ducted heat pumps, and insulation. We are also offering zero-percent interest loans to help cover the remaining cost of the project. Learn more here, or contact EWEB's energy experts to see if you qualify.

Find more energy saving tips and information about rebates and loans to make energy efficiency upgrades in your home or rental property.

Related Programs

Ducted heat pump program
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High-efficiency heat pumps are ideal for our mild Pacific Northwest climate. 

Ductless heat pump program
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An energy efficient ductless heat pump is cheaper to install and operate than any other heating system.

Insulation, Air Sealing and Windows Program
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We offer rebates to help you upgrade your home's existing shell with energy-efficient products.  Improve your insulation and you can conserve heating and save money over time.