With extreme temperatures and heat indexes forecasted to reach triple digits this week, PECO reminds customers to manage their energy use. As temperatures rise, customers use more energy to cool their homes, impacting their monthly bill. Customers can save energy and money by following a few simple tips:
- Manage your thermostat: For customers with central air conditioning, keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level (74 to 76 degrees, or even higher) when at home. Raise the thermostat setting a few degrees for days with extreme heat (90 degrees or higher) to save even more. Lowering the thermostat setting below the desired temperature will not cool your home faster, it will just waste energy and money.
- Check air conditioner size and placement: For those with room air conditioners, ensure that the appliance is sized properly for the room and turn the unit off if someone is not going to be in the room for an extended period of time. Place window air conditioners on the north or shady side of the house to avoid overworking the unit in the hot daytime sun.
- Let the cool air flow: Keep vents clear of carpets, drapery and furniture, and close the vents in rooms that you don’t use very much.
- Use fans to circulate air: For those without any air conditioning, we recommend ceiling fans or portable fans operating with the windows partially open to circulate fresh air into your home. For those with air conditioning, use fans to evenly distribute cool air and reduce the unit’s "on" time.
- Use appliances wisely: To reduce heat and moisture during the warmest part of the day, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or evening hours when it’s generally cooler outside. Also, use a microwave to cook, or barbecue outside, if possible, during the hottest days.
- Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed: About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Simply drawing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat gain to your home. Window coatings and window film can reflect as much as 80 percent of direct rays from the sun.
- Keep the hot air out: Turn off all unnecessary lighting and appliances, which add heat to the home. Keep doors to the outside, garage or attic firmly closed to keep cool air in and hot air out.
PECO manages the largest and most comprehensive Universal Services program in the state to provide support for low-and fixed-income customers. The company has many programs to help customers manage their energy costs and save money. More information regarding PECO’s programs can be found at www.peco.com/help.Customers who are not eligible for low-and fixed-income assistance, but are having trouble managing their energy costs should also consider taking advantage of other programs, including budget billing. Budget billing makes short-term fluctuations in monthly bills much easier to handle by dividing annual energy costs evenly throughout the year. All customers also can save money on their monthly energy bills by using energy as efficiently and taking advantage of PECO Smart Ideas, the company’s suite of energy efficiency programs. To find even more ways to save energy and money, visit www.peco.com/SmartIdeas. Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 497,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 76.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 37.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2012. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.