Beat the heat this summer

You can beat the peak (and save money!) by decreasing your power use when energy demand and prices are at their highest. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Cool Off/Calm Down:
Turn off unnecessary lighting and electronics that generate heat and resist the urge to turn down the thermostat and remember, lower fan settings use less energy.

Laundry for Less:
Full loads = fewer cycles. Run washers and dryers in the evenings, during non -peak hours.

Counter-top Convenience:
Oven cooking can really warm up a kitchen. Try using smaller appliances like microwaves and slow cookers to put more cooking heat where you need it.

Intramural Competition:
Online gaming with each active player using their own computer, display, gaming console and internet connection gets pricey. Play each other at home on one screen and save.

3-Step HVAC Test

As summer temperatures rise, so do electric bills. Follow these steps to test the efficiency of your HVAC unit.

The outdoor temperature shoould be above 80 degrees, and you should set your thermostat well below the room temperature to ensure the system runs along enough for this test.

1. Using a digital proble thermometer (about $12), measure the temperature of the air being pulled into your HVAC filter.

2. Measure the temperature of the air blowing out of your A/C vent.

3. Subtract the A/C vent temperatures from the HVAC filter temperature. You should see a difference of about 17 to 20 degrees. If the difference is less than 17 degrees, you may need a licensed technician to check the coolant. If the difference is greater than 20 degrees, your ductwork may need to be inspected for airflow restrictions.