As local areas have been dealing with power outages due to the high volume of air conditioner units being used, National Grid is offering tips to save energy while also keeping cool during high temperatures.
Here are some ways you can save energy at home during the summer heat:
Draw blinds, shades, drapes – Close window dressings to block the solar gain, especially with older windows, during the hottest part of the day and on south and west-facing windows.
Use programmable thermostats – Use of programmable thermostats optimizes air conditioning systems, helping to boost energy savings.
Control your home’s temperature remotely – Whether you’re on vacation or on the go, a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. These thermostats allow you to preset temperatures and could help to lower your energy bill by up to $180 a year! National Grid offers a $75 rebate to help make this energy-saving equipment more affordable for you.
Change air conditioner settings and filter – The lower you set your temperature on your air conditioner, the more costly it is to operate. For example, a 75-degree setting will cost about 18 percent more than a 78 degree setting. Set the thermostat on your air conditioner as high as comfort will permit. In addition, check your window air conditioner filter and replace or clean it if it is clogged. If your home has central air conditioning, check the condition of the furnace filter and replace if dirty.
Home? Ceiling fans on. Away? Ceilings fans off. – Unlike an air conditioner, ceiling fans don’t actually cool your home; they only circulate air to make you feel cooler. Therefore, they are most effective when you’re home to enjoy the benefits. Turn them off when you’re not home and save energy in the process.
Unplug electronics – Even though your electronics, like televisions and computers, are turned off they may still draw electricity. Unplug any unnecessary electronics and chargers until you need them. In addition, using an advanced power strip on your entertainment system reduces phantom load energy use and can save you up to $60 annually.
Check refrigerator and freezer temps – The ideal refrigerator temperature is between 37 and 40 degrees. For the freezer the ideal reading is 5 degrees. It is also important to keep your refrigerator and freezer full so that they do not have to work as hard to stay cold. This can drastically lower the amount of energy that they'd ordinarily need to function properly.
Consider replacing or recycling older-model working refrigerators, especially if older than 10 years – Older model refrigerators often can use more than four times the energy of newer models and cost up to $150 a year to run. Consider replacing or recycling oldermodel units to save energy, money, and to help keep these appliances out of landfills.