Be Energy Smart
Save Energy and Stay Cool this Summer
By: Andy Farmer
As summer progresses in Virginia, temperatures will continue to rise and that will mean more trips to the neighborhood pool. This warmer weather is not all fun and games however, as it can also lead to increased energy bills in your home.
As the Commonwealth’s energy education program, Virginia Energy Sense’s mission is to help Virginians understand their energy use, and what they can do to save energy cost effectively and easily. We want to make sure you’re well equipped to beat the heat this summer and help Virginia progress toward its goal of reducing electric energy consumption by 10 percent below 2006 levels by 2020.
We’re doing our part to equip you with resources to help you face any energy consumption challenges this summer. Below are several tips and pieces of advice on you can use to reduce your energy usage and stay cool!
Summer Energy Saving Tips
Consider your water heater – Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F) to reduce energy use.
Avoid using ovens – Large ovens produce significant heat so cook using microwaves, crock pots and toaster ovens to reduce energy consumption.
Maintain your HVAC system – Regularly change your air filters to ensure quality air flow and comfort throughout your home.
Buy ENERGY STAR – Older appliances are not as efficient as newer models, so consider swapping them with ENERGY STAR equipment to increase your home’s overall energy efficiency. August 3-5 is Virginia’s sales tax holiday and is a great opportunity to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and get a rebate.
Install a programmable thermostat – A smart thermostat learns your behavior and can lower or raise the temperature if you are going to be out or not. And it lets you control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.
Open windows – On mild days, turn the air conditioning off and open windows for natural ventilation.
Switch to LEDs – Switch out incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
Do an energy audit – Energy audits identify energy waste at home and provide suggestions on reducing your energy consumption. Visit our website to learn more.
Caulk any leaks – Prevent warm air from entering your home by sealing any cracks and openings.
Use fans – A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort
Visit http://www.virginiaenergysense.org/ for more ways to save energy and stay cool this summer. Taking the initiative will also help Virginia meet its goal of reduced energy consumption.
Andy Farmer is the manager of Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s statewide energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission.
Author: Andy Farmer is the manager of Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s statewide energy education program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)