If you’ve been outside in the last few days, I’m sure you can agree it’s been hot out there. It’s been so hot that the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has deemed the air quality forecast a Code Orange for the last 4 days. And it’s not finished yet, as the forecast for tomorrow is Code Orange again. In case you’re unaware, Code Orange is considered “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.” Needless to say, the temperature outside isn’t a joke.
You’re probably asking yourself, “What does this have to do with my electric bill?” It’s pretty simple actually – As a result of the air quality forecasts, people tend to stay indoors. And when people stay indoors, they tend to use more electricity.
Though, it would seem only right to stay indoors & get as comfortable as possible, energy conservation is most important in times like these. So, consider the following tips. They’ll benefit your pocket and help curb your carbon footprint in the process.
- Set your air conditioner’s thermostat at 78 degrees. After removing the humidity, this can be a comfortable temperature. Remember every degree up on the thermostat can save as much as 5 percent on your energy bill.
- When possible, cook and use other heat-generating appliances, such as washers, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late evening when it usually is cooler.
- Consider preparing light summer meals that don’t require a lot of cooking. If possible, use an outdoor grill or microwave oven for cooking.
- Change your air conditioner filter. A dirty filter causes the unit to run longer and inefficiently.
- Close window shades, blinds, or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
- Move lamps, TVs, and other heat-producing items away from the air conditioner’s thermostat. Heat from these appliances could cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Turn these appliances off when they’re not being used.
- Check that all windows and doors are tightly closed to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
- Wash clothes in cold water and line dry.
- Use dishwashers only when fully loaded. Dishwashers use the same amount of electricity whether they’re full or empty. Use the air-dry option if your unit has one.
- Make sure pets have plenty of fresh water and shade, and bring them indoors to an air conditioned space during extreme heat.
If you incorporate these tips into your energy usage habits, you will definitely see the savings. For more tips and information, log on to www.pepco.com.
‘Til the next post,