COLUMBUS — As the heat index outside rises, the consumption of energy to cool the inside of your home likely increases too. With the help of these tips from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), you have the ability to use energy wisely to better manage your bills.
During the summer, the electricity used to run air conditioning and appliances can be costly. The PUCO encourages you to take the following steps to help your household stay cool.
• During the day, block the heat from the sun by closing windows, doors and curtains.
• To save money on cooling costs turn the thermostat up when you are away from home. Raising the temperature by 5 degrees for eight hours can reduce your cooling costs by 3–5 percent.
• Look for an air conditioning unit that is ENERGY STAR® approved.
• Avoid creating unnecessary heat and humidity in the house during summer days. Plan to do heat and moisture-creating activities such as washing dishes, doing laundry, bathing and cooking before noon or after 8 p.m.
• Limit the amount of time you run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. Only run them for as long as it takes to get rid of any odors to minimize losing cool air.
• If you use a window air conditioning unit, make sure it fits correctly into the window to reduce the amount of cool air lost.
• Consider using a window fan, which requires as little as 1/10 the amount of energy needed to run an air conditioner.
• If furniture is covering vents and is effecting air flow, the air conditioning will have to work harder to reach the desired temperature. Keep vents clear for maximum results.
For more information on conserving energy in your home or for any utility-related concern, visit www.PUCO.ohio.gov or call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826).