Friday, July 06, 2012As we move into the dog days of summer, Georgia Power offers some helpful tips to stay cool and save on energy bills.
- During the summer, the air conditioner is usually the biggest user of electricity. For many homes, it accounts for more than half of the summer electric bill.
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and leave it there. For every degree below that setting, you'll use 3 percent to 4 percent more electricity.
- Set the thermostat even higher when at work or away from home for long periods of time, but no more than five degrees higher.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your home's temperature to your schedule so you're comfortable when at home and save energy while away.
- Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly to maximize the unit's cooling potential. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
- Check your windows and doors for a tight fit. Apply weather stripping or caulking if needed.
- Use fans whenever possible. Ceiling fans can make the air in a room feel 6 degrees cooler and allow you to save energy. However, remember to turn them off when you're not in the room.
- Increasing attic insulation can reduce heat loss/heat gain by up to 28 percent.
- Insulation is measured in R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation value.
- Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-30 or higher, depending on local energy codes, in ceiling areas.
- Try to use the range instead of the oven. Or better yet, turn on the microwave or use a pressure cooker. Both use less power than a standard electric range.
- Whenever possible, cook a lot of meals at the same time. This uses less energy than cooking each meal separately.
- Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Check them by closing a piece of paper in the door, half in and half out. If you can pull the paper out easily, you may need to make some adjustments or replace the seal.
- Set the refrigerator thermostat between 35 and 38 degrees, and your freezer at zero degrees.
- Turn down your water-heater thermostat. A setting of 120 degrees is adequate for most homes and will save money and energy.
- When using the dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle if you don't need the dishes right away.
- Run the dishwasher, dryer and stove in the morning or after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house during the hottest part of the day.
- Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it. Partial loads use just as much water and power as a full load.
- Dry clothes in consecutive loads so the dryer does not have to reheat every time. Always clean the lint filter after each load.
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