Tips to Reduce Electricity Usage While Staying Cool

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With high heat and humidity expected across the state over the next several days, air conditioners and fans will be working overtime at most homes and businesses. Although high electricity usage during a heat wave can put a strain on the electric system, Eversource is prepared to meet that increased demand and its crews are ready to respond to any outages or issues that may arise. Below are a few tips on how to keep energy costs down, and how to prepare for the high heat.

Three actions you can take now to beat the heat this summer:

  1. Use the Cooling Calculator on Eversource.com.  The tool can help you understand how much electricity your current cooling system uses and the impact of small changes to temperature settings. 
  2. Sign up for a Home Energy Solutions home energy performance assessment and service. During the visit, a certified technician helps to identify places where your home can be tightened up to save money and energy. The technician will do on-the-spot improvements like sealing up drafty doors and windows and closing air gaps around pipes and more to help keep the heat out.

Additional tips for keeping temperatures and energy costs down in the summer:

  • Participate in Home Energy SolutionsSM. Keep the cool air produced by your AC in the house by properly sealing and insulating. Our experts will provide on-the-spot air and duct sealing, as needed, and discuss possible insulation upgrades. You’ll save on cooling during the summer and be ready for heating this winter, too.
  • Keep air conditioners set at a moderate temperature that’s also comfortable. For every degree higher on the thermostat, the air conditioner will use 1-3% less electricity.  Using a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat can also help manage energy usage, especially when away from home.
  • Don’t block air flow. Keep air vents clear of obstructions such as furniture, curtains, and rugs. For those with central air and floor vents, consider using vent deflectors to direct and increase the reach of cooled air. Keep air conditioner filters and coils clean. Dirty filters block air flow, reducing efficiency and making it harder to deliver the cool air.
  • Keep blinds closed when it’s hot out to prevent unwanted heat from entering a home through windows. Using curtains, shades, and blinds can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees.
  • Switch to ENERGY STAR® certified LED lights. The energy-efficient bulbs run cooler and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
  • Set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise and at a higher speed in the summer to circulate the breeze more effectively, creating a cooling, wind chill effect. Since ceiling fans cool only people and not the actual room; remember to turn the fan off when leaving the room.
  • Cook dinner outside.  Cooking indoors heats up the kitchen and makes cooling systems work harder, so opt for cooking outdoors instead. 
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR rating when purchasing new appliances. Also, be sure to choose the right size when purchasing an air conditioning unit. An oversized or undersized AC unit is less effective and uses more energy.

To learn about the many energy saving programs available, visit Eversource.com.