When it’s hot outside, we want to cool down. For starters, reduce activities that generate heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat.
These tips can help save energy:
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortable. The smaller the difference between the inside and outside temperatures, the lower your energy bill will be.
- Close blinds and curtains on sunny days.
- If you have a whole-house fan, use it to pull cool air into your home at night or in the early morning through open windows. Turn the fan off and shut the windows during the day.
- Use bathroom and kitchen fans to remove heat and humidity caused by showering and cooking. (And take short showers instead of baths to save even more year-round.)
- By using a ceiling fan, you’ll feel cooler and be able to raise the thermostat by as much as 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Replace standard bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LED). LEDs are more efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light.
- Have the HVAC system checked to maintain performance. Duke Energy offers qualified customers rebates to help offset the cost of replacing older units with energy-efficient ones. Use finditduke.com to find a certified contractor.
- Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes an HVAC system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Run your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer at night when it’s cooler. Run full loads. Consider air drying dishes and clothes to save even more.
- If you’re going on vacation, the Duke Energy energy slayer calculator can show you how much you’ll save (duke-energy.com/EnergyVampire) by unplugging appliances you’re not using while you’re away.
How to avoid billing surprises
The best way to avoid billing surprises is to track your use. Duke Energy customers who have a smart meter can sign up for a Usage Alert. Similar to data alerts you get from your cellphone company, you can set a budget amount for your monthly energy bill and receive notices when you are approaching your limit.