Often-overlooked sources of interior heat gain are lights and household appliances, such as ovens, dishwashers, and dryers. Because most of the energy that incandescent lamps use is given off as heat, use them only when necessary. Take advantage of daylight to illuminate your house. And consider switching to compact fluorescent lamps. These use about 75% less energy than incandescent lamps, and emit 90% less heat for the same amount of light. For more information on lighting, see the EREC fact sheet Energy-Efficient Lighting.
Many household appliances generate a lot of heat. When possible, use them in the morning or late evening when you can better tolerate the extra heat. Consider cooking on an outside barbecue grill or use a microwave oven, which does not generate as much heat and uses less energy than a gas or electric range.
Washers, dryers, dishwashers, and water heaters also generate large amounts of heat and humidity. To gain the most benefit, seal off your laundry room and water heater from the rest of the house.
New, energy-efficient appliances generate less heat and use less energy. When it is time to purchase new appliances, make sure they are energy efficient. All refrigerators, dishwashers, and dryers display an EnergyGuide label indicating the annual estimated cost for operating the appliance or a standardized energy efficiency ratio. Compare appliances and buy the most efficient models for your needs. For more information, see the EREC fact sheet A Guide to Making Energy-Smart Purchases.