Ways to conserve energy in your home during a heat wave

As the temperatures in the D.C. area rise, so might your electric bill. But there are some simple tips you can do to keep your home cool and that money in your wallet.

“We do know that the summer temperatures are difficult,” said Rod Wilson, a Pepco spokesman.

When trying to keep costs down, Wilson said start by looking at your thermostat.

“If your health permits, you can save about 2% on your bill for every degree that is raised on your thermostat,” he said.

Installing a smart thermostat can make it easier to manage temperatures based on when cool air is needed, and those changes can be made when you are not at home.

Make sure the vents and AC in your house are clean and not blocked by furniture — the better the airflow, the better your system will work.

Another cost-saving measure, which will also take some of the strain off your air conditioning, is not letting too much natural light into your home during the hottest parts of the day.

“Lower your blinds, close the drapes during the day to keep the cool air inside. And keep the heating effects from the sun out because the sun shining through the window will definitely heat up your home,” he said.

Ceiling fans can be used to keep cooler air moving through your home, but make sure your fan is going counterclockwise. If not, the “reverse” button on it may still be engaged for the wintertime.

Also, you may have laundry to do or dishes that need to be washed, but keep in mind the dryer, washing machine and dishwasher create heat.

“For appliances, that draw a lot of heat, like clothes dryers or even dishwashers, you want to run those at night when it’s cooler because that can offset the temperature in your home,” Wilson said.

While it may be too late to get this done for this heat wave, he said Pepco offers energy assessments of homes to help people find ways to save energy.

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Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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