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Johnson County

Research-based Information You Can Trust — Localized for your needs

Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Make an appointment, before coming into the office.

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax
jo@listserv.ksu.edu

Map to our office

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Tips to Survive the Dog Days of Summer

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 degrees cooler than the actual temperature.
  • Close shades and windows. During the day, that is. At night, open windows opposite one another for cross-ventilation.

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 air conditioning cost for each degree you raise the thermostat.
  • Clean or replace the filters. Check furnace and air filters monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Use the "AUTO FAN" setting.
  • Getting an air conditioner? Buy Energy Star. It can save you up to 10% over one that doesn’t have the label. However, have an air conditioning technician or energy auditor determine 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.

Cooking

  • 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 oven racks clear. Foil on oven shelves blocks heat and costs money.

Refrigerators

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. To keep refrigerators cold, close doors quickly.
  • Defrost manual-defrost refrigerators. Frost makes these models less efficient - and can contribute to food spoilage.
  • 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.

Source: Cornell Cooperative Extension

Contact Us

Denise Dias
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
Denise.Dias@jocogov.org