Beat the Heat

7 Tips to Save Energy, Money

Beat the HeatEven as temperatures climb this summer, there are many ways to reduce energy bills and still stay cool in Michigan. Consumers Energy offers rebates and helpful tools designed to make it easy and affordable to spend less and still keep your home cool.

Here are seven energy-saving tips for the summer. These and more can be found at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/energyanswers:

  1. If you have central air conditioning, clean leaves and debris from the unit. Make sure they're not too close to the compressor because they can block airflow. Clean the filter regularly. Dusty filters make your air conditioner work harder. 
  2. Set your air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees 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. Consumers Energy offers a $50 rebate on Wi-Fi enabled thermostats.
  3. Don't cool rooms that are not used much. Close doors to cut energy costs.
  4. Make sure to seal and insulate your home. That can be just as important for keeping cool in in the summer as to stay warm in the winter. Information about rebates for insulation and windows is available at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome or by calling 866-234-0445.
  5. 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.
  6. Be a fan of fans. A ceiling fan cools fast and costs less than air conditioning. You can also reduce the need for air conditioning by installing an attic fan.
  7. Replace or tune up your old air conditioning equipment and receive rebates ranging from $50 to $450. Go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome or call 866-234-0445 to choose a participating contractor, who will install equipment, perform tune-ups and submit the rebate application for you.

Consumers Energy is a 2015 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year.

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Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke *

Heat Exhaustion: Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature may be normal, or is likely to be rising.

Heat stroke: Hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high -- sometimes as high as 105° F. If the person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, skin may be wet; otherwise, it will feel dry.

* From Talking about Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages, National Disaster Education Coalition, Washington D.C., 1999