Check out these summer energy saving tips from Dominion Virginia Power.
Raise your thermostat to 78º. If you are away from home for more than eight hours, raise the thermostat setting and you can expect to see up to a 3% savings on cooling costs for each degree of setback.
This is the number one way to conserve energy. This will reduce the amount of energy used to cool your home while you’re away. You can learn more about your thermostat online by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy website.
- Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
- Check and clean filters. Cleaning and replacing air conditioning filters monthly allows the system to run more efficiently.
- Clear attic vents. If the home has an attic fan, make sure it is functioning properly.
- Install ceiling fans and make sure they are blowing down. Don’t underestimate the importance of ceiling fans. Moving air over the body provides a cooling effect. The use of ceiling fans can mean savings of around 25% on cooling costs and can make the temperature seem 10 degrees cooler. Most fans have a switch to change the fan direction. Make sure ceiling fans are blowing downward (in a counter-clockwise direction) to send air past your body.
- Postpone activities that require hot water and large energy use – such as washing dishes or clothes – to early morning or late evening. This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home. Use the dishwasher and clothes washer late in the evening. When used during the day, these appliances produce additional heat, causing your air conditioner to work harder.
- Use cold water to wash dishes and clothes. This will save on water heating costs.
- Avoid using the stove if possible. Consider grilling outside instead.
- Unplug equipment not in use. Electric chargers, televisions and audio/video equipment use electricity and produce heat even when they are not in use. Running an older refrigerator can use up to three times the energy of a modern one. Unplug any appliance when it’s not in use.
- Turn off lights. Turn lights off when exiting a room. They add to the heat in the home. Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with energy efficient compact florescent lights (CFLs). And remember to recycle CFLs whenever possible.