Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of summer, and most customers will rely on air conditioning to keep their homes cool. However, central air conditioning uses a lot of energy – up to 30 percent of your monthly bill during the warm summer months. With that in mind, I would like to share some tips to help you save energy and remain comfortable in your home as the temperature rises.
- Set your thermostat to 78 degrees, a reasonably comfortable and energy-efficient indoor temperature. When turning your air conditioner on, don’t set the thermostat to a colder setting than normal – it will not cool any faster, but it will use more energy and cool to a lower temperature than you need.
- Make sure to clean your air conditioning filter regularly. A dirty filter can reduce the unit’s efficiency and cause it to work harder.
- Close window shades, blinds, or drapes to block sunlight during the hottest part of the day. You can also check to make sure that windows and doors are tightly closed to keep hot air from getting in.
- Use fans to keep air circulating in your home. Move lamps, TVs, and other heat-producing items away from the air conditioner’s thermostat. Heat from these appliances can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Turn these appliances off when they are not being used.
- 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.
We also offer customers in Maryland mail-in rebates for qualifying ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners and other appliances. You can find more ways to save energy and money this summer, and all year round, by visiting our website.
William R. Ellis
Manager, Demand Side Management