6-quart crock pot with stew
Image by Janine

Cooking with a crockpot in the summer uses less energy and keeps the house cooler.

Summer Energy Saving Tips

Keep Cool without Air Conditioning

  • Use fans. At night they help rid the house of the heat of the daytime sun.
  • Use ceiling fans. They make people feel four degress cooler than the actual temperature.
  • Close shades and windows. During the day, that is. At night, open windows opposite one another for cross-ventilation.
  • Got a waterbed? It may use as much electricity as your refrigerator. To save more than 30% of that cost, make the bed routinely and cover it with a comforter.

Keep Cool with Air Conditioning

  • Set the thermostat at 78 F or higher if you use a ceiling fan. You save 3 to 5% on your airconditioning cost for each degree you raise the thermostat.
  • Clean the filters. Check furnace and air filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer. Clean or replace them as needed.
  • Use the "AUTO FAN" setting.
  • Getting an air conditioner? Buy Energy Star. It can save you up to 10% over one that dosn't have the label. However, have an air conditioning technician or energy auditor determione the right size for the space.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Make sure it is programmed to turn down the heating or cooling automatically when you are not home and when you are sleeping.


  • Avoid the stove or the oven. Use toaster ovens, crockpots, microwaves when you are cooking small to medium-sized meals. They use less energy than your stove or oven.
  • Use the smallest pans possible It takes less energy to heat them.
  • Use lids They help the food cook more quickly by keeping the steam in.
  • Turn off electric burners and ovens just before cooking is complete The food will continue to cook.
  • Keep preheating time to a minimum
  • Don't peek! You lose heat every time you open the door or lift the lid.
  • Keep racks clear Foil on oven shelves blocks heat and costs money.


An old refrigerator costs the average family about $140 a year (that's almost $12 per month). To cut those costs:

  • Check refrigerator temperatures You're losing money if they're lower than 37-40°F for fresh food and 0-5°F in your freezer. To check? Put one thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the refrigerator, and another between packages in the freezer. Read them after 24 hours. And to keep refrigerators cold, close doors quickly.
  • Defrost manual-defrost refrigerators Frost makes these models less efficient - and helps spoil foods.
  • Cover and wrap food Uncovered foods and liquids release moisture and drive up electricity costs.
  • Got a second older refrigerator? Unplug it! Remember: it can cost about $140 a year to keep it plugged in. And always remove the door when you unplug the refrigerator so that children cannot accidentally be caught inside.
  • Buying a new refrigerator? Get an Energy Star model Replacing a refrigerator bought in 1990 with a new Energy Star model would save enough energy to light the average household for over three months.

How Can Kids Help?

  • Turn off the lights When you leave your room - and the bathroom.
  • Turn off the radio, TV, computer, and games when you stop using them.
  • Take shorter showers They use about half as much water as a full bathtub.
  • Check for problems Mom and Dad haven't noticed Like dripping faucets - it takes energy to heat the water.
  • Share rides with friends to after-school activities
  • Close the fridge! Decide what you want from the refrigerator BEFORE opening the door - then close it quickly.
  • Try a sweater if you're cold in the house? Don't turn up the thermostat.
  • Recycle! Sell toys or old clothes at a yard sale or donate them to a charity. Then someone else can use them.

Last updated July 26, 2019