The return of hot summer temperatures offers customers a prime opportunity to beat the heat and reduce their energy usage. Rather than simply cranking up the air conditioning, ComEd recommends simple steps that can reduce energy usage and potentially help save on electric bills.
· Manage your thermostat: For customers with energy-efficient central air conditioning, keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level when at home. Raise the thermostat setting for days of extreme heat to save even more. Lowering the thermostat setting below the desired temperature will not cool your home faster.
· Check air conditioner size and placement: For those with room air conditioners, ensure that the appliance is sized properly for the room and turn the unit off if someone is not going to be in the room for an extended period of time. Place window air conditioners on the north or shady side of the house to avoid overworking the unit in the hot daytime sun.
· Use fans to circulate air: For those without air conditioning, we recommend ceiling fans or portable fans operating with the windows partially open to circulate fresh air into your home. For those with air conditioning, fans can be used to evenly distribute cool air and reduce your air conditioner’s “on” time.
· Use appliances wisely: To reduce interior heat during the warmest part of the day, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or evening hours when it’s generally cooler outside. Also, use a microwave to cook, or barbecue outside, if possible, during the hottest days.
· Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed: About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Simply drawing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat gain to your home. Awnings are even better and can dramatically reduce heat from the sun. Window coatings and window film can reject as much as 80 percent of the heat from the sun.
· Keep the hot air out: Turn off all unnecessary lighting and appliances, which add heat to the home. Keep doors to the outside, garage or attic firmly closed to keep cool air in and hot air out.
· Look for energy-efficient appliances: When shopping for appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, look for the ENERGY STAR® label, and purchase the most affordable energy-efficient unit. Newer more energy-efficient models lower monthly operating costs.
· Replace inefficient lighting: Replace your old standard incandescent bulbs with new compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. CFLs and LEDs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and can last up to 30 times longer, depending on which technology you choose.
· Get paid to save. Use energy-efficient appliances which use less energy than older models. ComEd will pick up your old, working refrigerator or freezer for FREE and send you $35 for participating. Schedule online at ComEd.com/FridgeRecycling or call 855-433-2700.
Those in the market for a new central air conditioner should look for ENERGY STAR®-qualified A/C units, which will be at least 15 percent more efficient than conventional models. ComEd offers incentives for the simultaneous installation of qualifying high-efficiency furnace and central air conditioning systems.
For more energy-saving tools, tips and resources, visit ComEd.com/SmartIdeas or call 855-433-2700.