Beat the Heat! Stay Cool with Energy-Saving Tips from CPU
Customers can manage energy costs this summer by following a few simple strategies
Summer heat in Mississippi can get out of control, but that doesn’t mean your cooling bills have to. Clarksdale Public Utilities wants to help customers manage cooling costs this summer by sharing several tips they can use to save energy and money while staying comfortable indoors.
“It is normal to see an increase in utility bills during hot weather, and we want customers to know there are strategies they can follow to manage costs,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “The best part is that most of these tips are free and easy to implement.”
The following are top strategies to increase home energy efficiency and lower cooling costs during the summer:
- Operate thermostats efficiently. The ideal thermostat setting in the summer is 78°F. Keep your house warmer than normal when you’re away and lower the thermostat only when you are home. However, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you return. This doesn’t cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
- Keep your cooling system running efficiently. Schedule regular maintenance. Avoid placing lamps or TVs near your room thermostat. If the thermostat senses heat from appliances, it can cause the AC to run longer than necessary. Vacuum return vents regularly to remove dust buildup and ensure that furniture and other objects do not block airflow.
- Use fans and other ventilation strategies. A ceiling fan allows you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room; fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect. When you shower or bathe, use the bathroom fan to remove heat and humidity. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside, not just to the attic.
- Keep cold air inside and hot air outside. Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home and cold air from escaping. Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal leaky doors and windows.
- Don't heat your home with appliances and lighting. On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Minimize activities that generate excess heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using curling irons, hair dryers and other hot devices. Even stereos and TVs will add some heat to your home.
- Lower your water-heating costs. Water heating accounts for about 18 percent of home energy use. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and consider air drying both dishes and clothing. Take short showers instead of baths.
Customers may visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website at www.energy.gov and select the “Save Energy, Save Money” link for more information about improving the energy-efficiency of their homes.
Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.