Stay Cool, Save Money, and Be Green this Summer

You can use less energy and help the environment and your wallet this summer by following a few simple tips from PECO. Electricity usage normally increases during hot humid days because of the use of cooling appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers. And more electric usage means higher bills for customers.

You can minimize these effects by following these suggestions, which can help reduce energy usage by 30 percent or more and save on overall home energy costs.

  • For customers with central air conditioning, keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level (74 to 76 degrees) when at home. Raise the thermostat setting for days with extreme heat (90 degrees or higher) to save even more. Lowering the thermostat setting below the desired temperature will not cool the home faster.
  • 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.
  • Use fans to evenly distribute cool air and reduce the air conditioner's "on" time.
  • For those without any air conditioning, ceiling fans or portable fans operating with the windows partially open help circulate fresh air into the home.
  • 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. Awnings are even better and can dramatically reduce radiant heating. Window coatings and window film can reflect as much as 80 percent of direct rays from the sun.
  • 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.
  • When shopping for appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, look for the Energy Star label and purchase the most affordable energy-efficient unit. Newer more energy-efficient models lower monthly operating costs.
  • Replace your old standard incandescent bulbs with new compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). They use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last up to 10 times longer.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation. It serves 1.6 million electric and 485,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,500 people in the region.