Xcel Energy provides tips to lower energy bills, stay cool in summer heat | VailDaily.com

Xcel Energy provides tips to lower energy bills, stay cool in summer heat

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

DENVER —Xcel Energy has released the following tips to keep you and your home cool, conserve energy and keep your electric bill low.

• A programmable thermostat saves up to 10 percent on your energy bill if it is set to match your daily routine, such as setting it at 85 degrees when you're out of the house for the day.

• Supplement air conditioning with ceiling and floor fans, which create a wind-chill effect; they increase air-conditioning cooling efficiency and have a minimal cost to run.

• Use such appliances as washers, dryers and dishwashers after 10:30 p.m. Run full loads to decrease the amount of time appliances are in use.

• Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional electric oven or natural gas stove.

• Keep your shades pulled and doors and windows closed during the day, and plant shade trees near your home and air-conditioning unit. You may be able to see visible savings on your electric bill.

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• Cool yourself first by drinking iced beverages often and apply cold, damp cloths to central blood-flow areas such as your neck and wrists; this lowers your blood temperature, which will eventually transfer to lowering your body temperature.

During periods of hot, dry weather check on elderly or ill friends, neighbors and family members who live alone to make sure they're OK. For more energy-saving tips, visit http://www.xcelenergy.com.