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Friday, July 22, 2011

Keep Cool During The Heat Wave

North Carolina is going to have record making, 100 degree, temperatures in the following days. It is extremely important to keep hydrated and cool. As the temperatures go up and up, so does energy usage and your energy bill.

Is not necessary to sacrifice your comfort level because of the heat, you just have to be more strategic about it. Here are eight simple approaches that might just help keep your cost down while helping you stay cool in the next few days.

1. Curtains: Keep those curtains, drapes or blinds closed. It may be a little dark but it will help shield the sun from coming in through your window while keeping your house cooler.

2. Air Conditioner: Keep your thermostat at one or two degrees warmer than usual. It will conserve as much as 5 to 10% off your energy bill and it really will not feel that much different. In the summer, we keep ours at 78° during the day and 75° at night. It works well for us. Also, don’t forget to keep the air conditioner clear for better performance.

3. Ceiling Fans: If you have ceiling fans use them. They will help circulate the cool air around the house making it more confortable. Just make sure you have it in the summer setting.

4. Turn off Lights: One 60 watt incandescent bulb can heat a small room as much as five degrees in one hour. Although CFL’s are better, they still put off heat.

5. Unused Appliances: Disconnect all appliances that are not in use. Appliances put out heat and even in the off position it continues to draw power. So unplug the toaster, coffee maker, the computer or the VCR when you are not using them.

6. Laundry & Dishes: Do your laundry or run the dishwasher early in the morning or after 7:00pm when power usage is lower and is not such a drain on the system.

7. Cooking: Forget about the oven in really hot days. It is much better to use the microwave or cook on the grill (although it can be hot too). It will aid in keeping down the temperature in your house.

8. Refrigerator: Keep your refrigerators and freezers as full as possible. A full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one.