Tips to use energy wisely during hot weather
During these hot summer months, it's easy to save money on utilities by making a few changes in how you use electricity in your home.
Here are tips to help lower electric bills and energy usage while keeping homes comfortable:
- Postpone activities that require hot water – such as washing dishes or clothes – to early morning or late evening. This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home.
- Avoid using the stove if possible and consider grilling outside instead. Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat. For every degree raised, customers can save as much as 3 percent on cooling costs.
- Turn off unnecessary lights during hot weather. They add to the heat in the home. Consider switching to cooler, energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs where light is needed.
- Use ceiling fans and portable floor fans to move the air around in the home. If the home does not have air conditioning, fans are essential for cooling.
- In homes with air conditioning, fans allow residents to raise the thermostat and save energy without affecting comfort.
- Close drapes during the hottest times of the day to block heat from entering the home and save energy.
- Make sure window air conditioners are sized correctly. Ones that are too small will run constantly but not cool the room. Ones that are too large use more energy than necessary.
- Clean filters to window air conditioning units and clean or replace filters to central air conditioning systems. Clogged filters cause air conditioners to use more energy that necessary to keep a home cool.
- Clear attic vents. If the home has an attic fan, make sure it is functioning properly.
Source: Dominion Virginia Power, Richmond, Va.
Teena Hammond Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.