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Got chores? Do ‘em later

Now you have a good excuse to put off your chores until later: Running heat-producing appliances after dark on hot days can help you save energy.

Waiting until the sun goes down before running your dishwasher or clothes dryer will save your air conditioner from competing with the heat they produce while it’s trying to keep your home cool during the hot afternoon.

Look for and eliminate other heat sources in your home – even small ones. Some examples:

  • Incandescent light bulbs produce more heat than light. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), which produce very little heat.

  • Save ironing, hot showers and cooking until it cools off for the day. Even better: Cook in your microwave oven, which doesn’t add nearly as much heat to the air as stovetop cooking.

  • Move your television set away from the thermostat. The little bit of heat the TV adds to the air can cause the thermostat to kick on more often than it needs to.