Helping in the Heat

May 29th, 2015

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At Dollar Energy Fund, our focus is to provide assistance to families and individuals who are struggling to afford or maintain utility service. In some parts of the country, like our own backyard, this mostly means helping to keep families’ heat on in the winter. Luckily, the snow has melted and the basic human need for heat has disappeared with it.

But that doesn’t mean that limited-income families in other states aren’t suffering. Dollar Energy Fund partners with utility companies and community-based-organizations in 11 states, including warm-weather ones like Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. While Pennsylvania and Ohio are experiencing a recent heat spike, many people deal with the heat on a regular basis without the means to afford air conditioning, or fans in some cases.

For that reason, it’s important to consider donating to Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Programs year-round. We want to provide the best and most assistance possible for people who can’t afford to be comfortable.

Regardless of where you live, as the weather gets warmer, you want your house to get cooler. We’ve compiled some cool down conservation tips to help you save money while staying safe in the heat.

Turn the switch on your ceiling fan

These days, most ceiling fans are created with a small switch that controls blade rotation. Look for this switch, and then make sure it is turning in a counter-clockwise direction. It will produce the pleasant breeze that you’re used to. In the winter, switch it to clockwise and run it on low to create an “updraft” which will trap warm air and circulate it through the room.

Take care of your air

If you’re spending the money on a window unit or on central air, make sure to clean the air filters at least once a month. This will keep your system running better and longer. Don’t forget the obvious – when the AC is on, close your exterior doors and windows. You can also close air vents in rooms that you aren’t occupying so that you’re not cooling them unnecessarily.

Plant where you can

If you’re constantly hot in the summer because of big windows that let the sun pour in, consider strategically planting trees and shrubs that shade your home where you need it most. Not willing to compromise the view? Use blinds, drapes and shades to keep the sun out during the hottest times of the day.

Control your flow

Take notice the way that air flows through your home or apartment. Use ceiling fans, which use no more electricity than a standard light bulb, to circulate cool air and leave interior doors open. Also consider repairing or blocking leaks in your home, such as old windows and doors or fireplaces.

Using these tips can help you save money, which you might consider donating to Dollar Energy Fund so that we can help people who can’t afford to stay cool. Do you have any other cool-down tips? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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