Summer Savings Tips
Paducah Power System offers three great ways to take control of your summer electric bills. You can access your account through this webpage (go to “Online Services” on the homepage, and monitor your daily usage. Also, you can sign up for Budget Billing. Under Budget Billing, you pay a rolling average of the previous eleven months of bills. Your bill may fluctuate slightly, but it will stay about the same throughout the year, helping you to avoid wide swings in bills when the seasons change. If it’s easier for you to pay a few small payments throughout the month instead of one larger payment, our Pay as You Go (PAYGO) program may help you to navigate the summer cooling season. You can find out more information about PAYGO here.
Here are some other ways to save this summer:
Set your air conditioner to 78 or higher or stick with the warmest setting you can tolerate.
Cleaning air conditioning filters every month and getting your system checked by a professional once a year will ensure that it’s functioning as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.
Leaking ductwork accounts for 25% of cooling costs in the average home, so have your ducts tested and have any leaks repaired by a qualified contractor. Duct cleaning is not the same as duct sealing.
Use a programmable thermostat to automatically increase the temperature when no one is home during the day and to lower it right before everyone returns home.
If you have an air conditioning unit running on the first floor of your home, shut all of the doors on the second floor. The less space your air conditioner needs to cool, the quicker and easier it will do so.
Well placed fans can keep cool air circulating in the house, and keep your home from feeling like a sauna. If you do not already have them installed in your home, consider purchasing ceiling fans. Install a unit in each of the bedrooms to keep air circulating as you sleep. When you use a ceiling fan, you can raise your thermostat up a few degrees. Although a fan won’t cool the air, it will circulate the air and create a breeze to make the room feel just as cool.
Wear cool, loose clothing, even indoors. The cooler your clothing, the less you’ll need air conditioning.
Avoid placing lamps or TV 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.
Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.
Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
It’s tough to sleep when you feel like you’re in a sauna. Instead of running a fan or air conditioner all night, dress your bed with seasonally appropriate sheets and bedcovers and consider a “cool pillow.” They’re marketed under names such as Chillow®, and are designed to draw heat away from your head, where about 30 percent of body warmth is dispersed. They require no power or special preparation.
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. Look for the Energy Star label when buying bulbs.
Buy ENERGY STAR® certified lamps, light fixtures and appliances.
If you’re in the market for a new television, check energy efficiency ratings. The Energy Department bestows its Energy Star rating to sets that use about one-third less energy than regular televisions.
Run your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded, and turn off the dry cycle and air dry dishes instead.
Wash only full loads of laundry. Use a clothesline instead of the clothes dryer.
Having a lot of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open and then working hard to cool down again.
Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use. Most new electronics use electricity even when switched “off.” Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
Use the microwave or gill as much as possible since baking food in the oven heats up the house and forces your air conditioner to work more.
Around the House
Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F).
Install a water conserving shower head to use less warm water and lower your water heating costs.
A way to reduce cooling costs in the longer run is to plant trees or shrubs so that your house is more shaded, especially on the sunnier side.
Use solar screens on your windows to intercept heat from the sun as it tries to enter your house. They are particularly effective on east and west-facing windows, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Window films are another option. They are transparent, metalized sheets that reflect heat before it can be transmitted through glass. However, windows must stay shut for window films to work.
Weather strip, seal and caulk leaky doors and windows, and install foam gaskets behind outlet covers.
Close your fireplace damper during warm weather months.