With temperatures headed for the 90s in the mitten this week, here are 10 tips to manage your energy use while still staying cool and safe:
- Be a fan of fans. A ceiling fan cools fast and costs less than air conditioning. The warmer it is, the higher the speed should be.
- Make thermostat adjustments according to your schedule. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees during the day and higher when you’re away. Automate this process by installing a programmable thermostat.
- Have your A/C cool people, not rooms. Close doors and registers to unused areas.
- Block the summer sun. Close drapes, shades and blinds during the heat of the day.
- Avoid using appliances that generate a lot of heat, such as stoves and clothes dryers. If you must operate appliances, do so in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside.
- Combat hot air rising by seeking lower ground. If you are tempted to crank the A/C, consider cooling off in the basement instead.
- Take advantage of public spaces.
- See a movie during the afternoon or early evening
- Visit your public library
- Browse stores in your local mall
- Give your air conditioning unit some attention.
- Schedule a tune-up to be sure your unit is operating at peak efficiency
- Keep air conditioner coils, filter and unit clean of dust, leaves and debris
- Prevent warm or cool air from escaping your home. Did you know a 1/8″ crack around the door equals a softball-sized hole in the middle of the door? Caulk and/or weatherstrip doors and windows to ensure you’re getting the most out of the energy you pay for.
- Enroll in our Peak Power Savers programs. New for Consumers Energy customers this year, our Peak Power Savers programs provide new pricing options for households with central air to lower energy bills:
- Sign up for rates that reward you for shifting your energy use to off-peak times. You pay a lower rate during off-peak hours all year long and can save even more on the days when energy use is expected to be extremely high.
- Allow your air conditioning units to be cycled at certain times on the hottest weekdays of the year, typically four hours or less. When a cycling event is happening, your AC unit’s fan will run for short periods keeping your home comfortable. Customers will receive a $25 gift card for signing up and a monthly credit of $7.84 on your energy bill from June through September.
Do you know the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
- Symptoms of heat exhaustion: Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature may be normal, or is likely to be rising.
- Symptoms of heat stroke: Hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high — sometimes as high as 105° F. If the person was sweating from heavy work or exercise, skin may be wet; otherwise, it will feel dry.
Take advantage of our energy efficiency programs and rebates at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome. To get even more useful suggestions on reducing your energy use and lowering your bill, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/saveenergy.