If you’re looking for ways to stay cool this summer but to control your electric bills, Dominion offers some tips.
Sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat and can force your air conditioner to work two to three times harder. Closing the blinds during the day is one solution. Installing curtains that you can close during the heat of the day can also make a difference. Turning off lights and the TV as you leave the room or unplugging unnecessary appliances are simple solutions that can yield immediate energy savings. Other tips are:
• Set your thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature. Dominion and the U.S. Department of Energy recommend 78 degrees.
• Use programmable thermostats that automatically control your AC while you’re away.
• Turn off and unplug everything possible when on vacation.
• Turn off ceiling fans when leaving the room. Ceiling fans don’t cool spaces, but cool people by creating a wind chill effect.
• Replace or clean forced air heating/cooling system filters monthly.
• Keep the water heater set at 120 degrees and insulate the heater and adjacent pipes to prevent heat loss.
• Close the flue to the fireplace when not in use.
• Cook outside on an outdoor grill.
• Close and lower highly reflective blinds,
• Install LED light bulbs in outdoor fixtures.