Summer Energy Saving Tips
With the temperatures running high, so are most people’s energy bills. Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) has some tips to help you at least cut a few dollars off that electric bill for the rest of the summer. Here is its news release:
“Hot summer weather is here when temperatures near 100 degrees and high humidity make you eager to stay cool but save energy at the same time,” says Scott McCloud, SWEPCO spokesman. “SWEPCO customers can save money on their summer bills by following these energy tips to reduce electric usage in the home,” adds McCloud.
- Install a clean air conditioning filter on a regular basis in the summer and replace or clean it monthly. Dirty filters cause the equipment to work harder and use up to five percent more energy.
- For economy, set the air conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees. Each degree below 78 adds about eight percent to your cooling costs.
- Use portable and ceiling fans whenever possible to help circulate air and help reduce the amount of air conditioning required. They only cost a dollar or two a month to operate because they are smaller wattage appliances.
- Set your thermostat at a higher temperature while you’re away from home. This way the air conditioner won’t be on as often while you’re out.
- Perform heavy housework chores in the cooler time of day – this includes washing dishes, baking and laundry work. These create heat and moisture that put an extra strain on the air conditioner. Vent clothes dryers to the outside and use kitchen exhaust fans to get rid of excess heat.
- Keep direct sunlight out as much as possible. Close curtains, shades and blinds to hold down the temperature inside the home. Consider light-colored roofs, outside walls, drapes and solar screens that reflect the heat.
- Weatherstrip doors and windows to prevent expensive air leaks. Make sure all windows and doors are closed when the ac unit is operating.
- The attic should be properly ventilated to prevent excess heat build-up, which causes your cooling system to work harder.
- Insulation is important and can pay for itself by lowering your cooling costs by as much as 20 percent.
- Air conditioning equipment should be inspected and services each year by a licensed contractor to operate at maximum efficiency.
- Be sure the damper is tightly closed on a fireplace to prevent air loss.
- Keep furniture and draperies away from air vents inside the house. Air should be allowed to flow freely throughout the home.
- Shrubberies growing against the outside walls, as well as trees that shade the roof, act as a barrier against the sun and can reduce the amount of energy required to cool your home. Make sure shrubbery is trimmed away from the outdoor compressor unit so there is ample room for good air flow.
SWEPCO customers are encouraged to practice these measures in the summer for wise energy use in the home.