GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - When unseasonably high temperatures linger for days at a time, the demand for electricity increases across our service territory. By practicing conservation, customers can keep costs down and help prevent the need for more stringent conservation measures.
Here are some hot-weather tips to help conserve energy – and save on your electric bill.
Set your air conditioner's thermostat at 78 degrees. After removing the humidity, this can be a comfortable temperature. Remember every degree up on the thermostat can save as much as 5 percent on your energy bill.
When possible, cook and use other heat-generating appliances, such as washers, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late evening when it usually is cooler.
Consider preparing light summer meals that don't require a lot of cooking. If possible, use an outdoor grill or microwave oven for cooking.
Change your air conditioner filter. A dirty filter causes the unit to run longer and inefficiently.
Close window shades, blinds, or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
Move lamps, TVs, and other heat-producing items away from the air conditioner's thermostat. Heat from these appliances could cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary. Turn these appliances off when they're not being used.
Check that all windows and doors are tightly closed to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
Wash clothes in cold water and line dry.
Use dishwashers only when fully loaded. Dishwashers use the same amount of electricity whether they're full or empty. Use the air-dry option if your unit has one.
Make sure pets have plenty of fresh water and shade, and bring them indoors to an air conditioned space during extreme heat.
And remember: Extreme heat can be a danger to older people and those with medical conditions. Avoid heat stress by staying in cooled areas of your home, local shopping malls, libraries or public buildings as much as possible.