Beating Summer Heat

Beating Summer Heat

The heat is on, and so are air conditioners. Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative says running an air conditioner can significantly increase electric bills during summer months. To “cool it” and still lower home electricity costs, NOVEC encourages customers to follow these energy-saving tips:

  • Close window shades, drapes and blinds on the sunny sides of the home to block sun rays during the day. Attaching low-emissivity (Low-E) glaze to existing windows will help reflect heat.

  • Set the air conditioner thermostat between 76 and 78 degrees when the home is occupied. Before leaving the home for several hours or when going on vacation, set the thermostat at 80-85 degrees — just cool enough to keep humidity levels low. Invest in a programmable thermostat for either a standard central air conditioner or a heat pump. Do not set the thermostat at a cooler than normal temperature when you turn on the air conditioner; your home will not cool any faster and the lower setting could use more energy dollars.

  • Use fans wisely. Set the air conditioner fan to “auto” and let the air conditioner cycle on and off as needed. In rooms with occupants, run a ceiling or portable fan with the air conditioner. Fans do not cool a room— only its occupants — so turn fans off when people leave the room.

  • At night, if the humidity is tolerable, turn off the air conditioner and open windows. Run whole house, window, ceiling, or floor fans and a dehumidifier.

  • Let the monthly NOVEC bill be a reminder to change the A/C filter; follow manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Help conserve conditioned air by using kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans just long enough to remove heat and humidity. Run the dishwasher, clothes dryer, and oven during cooler evening and morning hours.

  • Most new homes and older homes with new roofs have ridge vents designed to alleviate heat buildup in the attic and help cool living spaces below. For roofs without ridge vents, an attic fan will help expel heat.

For more energy-saving information, visit

NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, is a not-for-profit, supply and distribution electric utility corporation that supplies and distributes electricity and energy-related services to more than 150,000 customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the Town of Clifton, and the City of Manassas Park. For more information, visit or call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.