Summer heat is in full swing and customers around the country are experiencing temperatures well above 90 degrees. Regardless of where you live, as the weather gets warmer, you want your house to get cooler. With help from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), we have compiled a few energy-saving tips to help you and your family save money while staying cool and comfortable.
Check your Thermostat
- The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill.
- Every degree you raise your air conditioning thermostat above 72 degrees can save up to 3% on cooling expenses.
- Fans circulate the air, keeping you feeling cooler, even at higher temperatures. A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
- Most ceiling fans are created with a small switch that controls blade rotation. Look for this switch, and then make sure it is turning in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind-chill effect. Turn fans off when you leave the room to conserve energy.
Follow the Shade & Block the Heat
- Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.
- Use window blinds and coverings at the sunniest time of day to reduce unwanted heat buildup.
- Close off unused rooms and adjust air vents or thermostats to avoid unnecessary cooling expenses.
Don’t Add Extra Heat
- Postpone using heat-producing appliances, such as clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves until it is cooler.
- Consider cooking with outdoor barbecue grills or microwaves, rather than stoves or ovens, which add indoor heat.
- Avoid baths and take short showers instead. Use the spot ventilation of a bathroom fan to remove the humidity in your home.
- Power OFF non-essential appliances and lights to reduce power use and unwanted heat.
Avoid Heating Your Thermostat
- Do not place lamps or television sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Use Natural Ventilation
- If you live in a climate where the temperature will significantly drop overnight, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. As soon as you wake up in the morning, close your windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
- Natural ventilation works best in climates with cool nights and regular breezes.
Clean is “Green”
- Clean and replace air conditioner filters regularly and make sure air circulation paths are clear.
This heat season is especially dangerous, with high temperatures breaking records. Practice heat safety with these health tips:
- Check on relatives, friends, and neighbors
- Avoid strenuous activities
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Wear light clothing
- Keep pets and children cool and hydrated
- Recognize heat-related illness
- If you need cooling assistance, visit our Need Help page for information on program guidelines.
Dollar Energy Fund partners with utility companies and community-based organizations in 14 states, including warm-weather ones like California, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas. Without the means to afford air conditioning, many families suffer from the heat throughout the year.
For that reason, it is important to consider donating to Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program year-round. We want to provide the most assistance possible for those who can’t afford to be comfortable.