Consumer Guides

Keeping Cool in the Heat Wave

Here are a few tips for keeping you and your home cool when it’s hot outside:

Maintain Your Cooling Equipment

Change or clean your air conditioner’s filters regularly.

Keep window units and outdoor air conditioning units free of vines, leaves and other debris.

Reduce Your Cooling Needs

Use awnings that shade windows in the summer and can be removed or retracted in the winter. Mount awnings at a height that blocks the high angle of midday summer sun but allows in low angled midday winter sun. Close drapes and shades during the day. Plant leafy trees that shade the house in summer, but allow sunlight through in winter.

For large south-facing windows, consider adding a special film to the glass to reduce heat and protect furniture from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Don’t apply these films to the inside of double or triple glazed windows.

Have an electrician install an attic ventilation fan to draw hot air away from the living areas in your home.

Reduce the use of heat-generating equipment such as stoves, ovens and lighting. Use ceiling and floor fans to help your body’s natural cooling ability. Raise your thermostat to 78 degrees to save on cooling bills.

Get the Best Rates on Electrical Service

Look for time-of-use discounts that reward you for switching power use to off-peak hours such as evenings and weekends.Peak-demand rationing gives you a discount for allowing the utility to turn off your air conditioning for short periods during peak-demand periods. Inquire through your local utility company. Bill averaging yields a statement that is the same every month, allowing you to spread costs throughout the year.

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