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Heat wave doesn't have to burn a hole in your wallet

Thursday - 6/2/2011, 11:42am  ET

Hank Silverberg,

WASHINGTON - Are you bracing for a big electric bill after this big heat wave? You can cut it down with a few cost-free and low-cost changes.

When it's around 95 degrees outside, 78 degrees will feel plenty cool inside. Dominion Virginia Power spokesman LeHa Anderson say a ceiling or standing fan can help circulate the air, helping to make rooms even cooler.

"Close your shades, leave your curtains closed because that keeps the sun rays outside of the house and doesn't warm up the inside of the house," Anderson says.

Other suggestions:

  • Don't use heat generating appliances such as clothes dryers during the day.
  • Lights can generate heat. Turn them off when you leave a room.
  • If you have a few bucks, buy a programmable thermostat.

Anderson says so far Dominion Power has had no trouble meeting the increased power demand during the current heat wave.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)