NOVEC: How To Handle Hot Weather

NOVEC: How To Handle Hot Weather

The heat wave is making most air conditioners run longer and harder. Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative recommends the following energy-saving tips:

  • Turn the thermostat up to 76-78 degrees. Each degree higher means lower electricity use and lower summer bills.

  • Replace air-conditioner filters regularly — Follow manufacturers’ instructions. Write the installation date on the filter.

  • When buying a window air conditioner, make sure it has an ENERGY STAR rating.

  • When purchasing a central air-conditioning unit, make sure it has a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER).

  • Use fans if you don’t have an air conditioner — Circulating air will make everyone feel cooler. If not running an air conditioner, run a whole-house or window fan upstairs with windows open on the main floor. Make sure a window fan pushes air out instead of in.

  • Block heat with window treatments — Close window treatments during the day on sunny sides of the house. Layering treatments, such as drapes closed over blinds, blocks even more heat. Window awnings do the best job since they repel solar rays before they reach windows.

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs — Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs produce only 10 percent light, but 90 percent heat. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs produce almost no heat, use 80 percent less energy than incandescents, and last much longer. White LEDs once had a bluish cast, but they now come in natural tones and in traditional shapes for chandeliers, lamps, and flood lights.

For more energy-saving ideas, go to