Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Simple measures can save on summer utility costs

Editor’s note: The following article and graphic are provided courtesy of Fort Carson’s utility provider Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities). For more information about Springs Utilities, visit https://www.csu.org or @csutilities.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Although the region is in the “dog days” of summer, there are many ways to keep costs and energy use low while staying comfortable. When it comes to utilities, the less energy and water used, the lower the bill.

Here are some tips recommended by Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) to help keep utility costs low during the hot summer days.

Beat the heat for those without air conditioning:

  • Open doors and windows in the morning and evenings to cool the home naturally.
  • Use window coverings during the day to help keep the home cooler, especially where direct sunlight comes in through windows.
  • Ceiling fans should be set to rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down.
  • Use dryers and dishwashers during early morning or late evening hours. While these are on, they let off extra heat. Even better, hang dry clothes.
  • On warm summer nights, cook on a grill outside or use the microwave, but skip using the oven.

Tips for homes with a cooling system:

  • Set the thermostat higher on hot days so the cooling system doesn’t work overtime.
  • Thermostats should also be left higher when not at home or when sleeping. A smart thermostat helps cooling systems run more efficiently. Springs Utilities customers can get a $50 rebate on qualifying smart thermostat purchases.
  • Change the filter. This low cost, easy-to-do task can save up to 15% on energy use.
  • Clean any dirt, leaves or debris near an outside unit.

Saving water indoors and out:

  • Over half of indoor water use takes place in the bathroom. Turn off the water when brushing teeth and reduce shower times — five minutes total is optimal.
  • For $24 or less, customers can switch to a water efficient showerhead that will save nearly 3,000 gallons of water a year without sacrificing satisfaction.
  • From July to August, water the lawn up to three times per week. Off-post Springs Utilities water customers can choose the days.
  • If customers have an irrigation system, schedule pop-ups for 20 minutes, rotors 45 minutes, multi-stream nozzles 60 minutes each watering day. These recommendations are starting points — adjust up or down as needed.
  • Check sprinklers to make sure there are no leaks.

Save energy year-round:

  • Use weather stripping and caulk to seal drafty windows and doors. These products cost around $20 and can save up to 20% on cooling and heating costs.
  • Replace old light bulbs with LED bulbs. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.
  • Unplug electronic devices not in regular use. Some devices still pull power when not in use for standby modes or digital clocks.
  • Get a home energy audit where a professional will look at a home and find ways to save on energy.

Find the full list of tips to stay cool this summer, visit Springs Utilities at https://www.csu.org.

Simple measures can save on summer utility costs
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