Heat waves are imminent, which means more air conditioner time, and a surge in power consumption nation wide. Georgia Power – a major American generators of electricity serving 2.4 million customers – shared some energy saving tips to keep customers cool and comfortable and help lower their monthly power bills.
Those energy efficiency tips are crucial not only to save at the bill, but also to conserve the resources of this planet we live on. Yes, it’s down to you and me to help save our planet, by lowering our own energy footprint, and increasing the awareness of the basic energy conservation literature. Mark those energy saving tips as they can and will make a difference.
Keeping cool while saving energy
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.
- 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.
- Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly to maximize the unit’s cooling potential. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
- Set your thermostat at 78F degrees (24C) 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.
- Check your windows and doors for a tight fit. Apply weather stripping or caulking if needed.
Saving energy via proper insulation
- 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.
Energy saving in the kitchen
- 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.
Using the refrigerator while saving energy
- 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.
Energy efficiency tips for your clothes washer / dishwasher
- 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.
ENERGY STAR Appliances
- Look for the ENERGY STAR brand when purchasing new appliances.
- ENERGY STAR rated appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers use 10 percent to 50 percent less energy and/or water when compared to standard appliances.
- Change the most-used lights in your home to ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs — they use 75 percent less energy than standard lighting and last up to 10 times longer. Also, ENERGY STAR qualified CFL bulbs generate 75 percent less heat.