With much of the Midwest and Northeast experiencing another heat wave this week, Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and its member electric companies are urging homes and businesses to stay cool, but to use their electricity wisely.
Here are some simple, no-cost tips for keeping cool and saving money:
- Set the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when the house is occupied, and at 85 degrees when no one’s home. And make sure your air conditioner filter is clean.
- Leave the curtains closed on any south-facing windows.
- If available, turn on ceiling and table fans, but only while you’re in the room.
- For unused rooms, shut the door and close any air supply vents inside them.
- When possible, cook with the microwave oven instead of the regular oven.
- Turn off any lights that aren’t being used, and dim those that are, if possible.
- Wash/dry only full loads of clothes (in cold water) and dishes during off-peak (evening) hours.
Also, visit your electric company’s Web site will for more energy-saving tips and advice. Most electric companies have special conservation and energy-management programs and incentives. These can include:
- Energy-efficiency rebates—Make purchasing high-efficiency appliances, including lighting, air conditioning, and refrigeration, more affordable.
- Low-interest loans—Help consumers finance the purchase of high-efficiency equipment.
- Free online energy audits—Enable consumers to analyze their home energy use and get recommended adjustments right from their own computer.
- Direct load control programs—Load control programs give consumers a credit on their monthly utility bill in exchange for allowing the utility to cycle their central air conditioning unit on-and-off during peak demand periods.
Check out our Top Ten Cooling Tips for even more energy-saving ideas.