AKRON, Ohio - With hot weather gripping northeast Ohio, FirstEnergy is offering tips to help customers save energy and money while keeping their cool.
· 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.
· Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and they produce less heat.
· Now is a great time for an HVAC tune-up. Your FirstEnergy utility may offer rebates on HVAC tune-ups or discounts on the purchase of new, energy efficient HVAC units. To see if you qualify, visit www.energysaveOhio.com
· 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.
· Consider joining the Easy Cool Rewards Program to manage your air conditioning when you’re not home. You’ll receive $60 and a Honeywell programmable thermostat (a $250 value). For details, please visit www.energysaveOhio.com
· 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.
· Locate window air conditioning units 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.
· 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 a second refrigerator or a freezer that’s running but not being used, consider having it recycled. You’ll get a cash rebate of $35 to $50 and save up to $150 every year in energy costs.
To learn more about energy efficiency and to read about rebate programs you may be eligible for, please visit http://www.energysaveOhio.com
Mark Durbin, a spokesman for FirstEnergy, said the company uses a transmission center to closely monitor how much power is flowing in and out of substations in the hot weather.
He said extreme heat for several days can lead to blackouts, but he's not worried about that happening in the current conditions.
"The weather is cooling enough. Our equipment is being able to cool down and be ready for the next day so we don't anticipate any problems," Durbin said.
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