AKRON, Ohio - With the Midwest in the grip of a summer heat wave, FirstEnergy is offering tips on how people can save energy and money while keeping their cool. HVAC contractors can pass along these same tips to their customers:
• Close air conditioning registers in unused rooms and keep the doors to those rooms closed. This will reduce the amount of energy your air conditioner will use to maintain your home’s temperature.
• Don’t position heat-producing appliances near wall-mounted thermostats. Doing so will make your air conditioner run longer than necessary to maintain your preferred temperature.
• Consider setting air conditioners a few degrees warmer on hot days. Every degree you add to your interior temperature in the summer can reduce your energy usage by up to 3 percent.
• Consider switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and they produce less heat.
• Close drapes or blinds on windows that receive direct sunlight. Blocking the sun’s rays reduces the temperature in your home, which means your air conditioner has less work to do.
• If your home has an attached garage, keep your garage door closed during the hottest hours of the day. This can reduce the amount of cool air that might escape, resulting in less work for your air conditioner.
• Cook with the microwave instead of the oven. Traditional ovens require far more energy than microwaves, and they produce substantial heat inside your home, making your air conditioner run longer.
• Run kitchen and bath exhaust fans only as long as necessary to remove odors or steam from the room. Leaving a fan running will pull cool air from your home, increasing its temperature.
• If you have window air conditioning units, locate them where they will be in the shade during the hottest hours of the day. Keeping the sun off your window air conditioner will reduce its workload and increase your energy efficiency.
• If you have a second refrigerator or a freezer that’s running but not being used, consider having it recycled. You can save up to $150 every year in energy costs.