During the summer, your home cooling system accounts for about half of your energy use, BGE says.
So how can consumers conserve energy and save a little money, especially on those scorching hot days?
"Even customers who leave their thermostats at a set temperature will experience an increase in use when the temperature outside is extremely hot because cooling systems must work harder to maintain the set temperature," said Stephen J. Woerner, president and chief operating officer for BGE.
The utility is offering a few energy- and money-saving tips for summer.
-Manage your thermostat: Keep it at a constant 74 to 76 degrees, or higher, when at home, and raise the setting by a few degrees for days of extreme heat of 90 degrees or higher.
-Check placement and size of room air conditioners: Make sure the appliance is sized correctly for the room and turn it off if the room will not be used for an extended period. Put window units on the north or shady side of the house to keep them from being overworked in the hot daytime sun.
-Use fans: Ceiling or portable fans can help in non-air conditioned homes, with the windows partially open to circulate fresh air. Even with air conditioning, fans can help evenly distribute cool air and keep air conditioners from working overtime.
-Do laundry early or at night: Wait until after the peak hours of 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. to run the dishwasher, washer, dryer and other electric appliances to help reduce interior heat during the hottest part of the day.
-Cover the windows: Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed to help keep out the 40 percent of unwanted heat that comes through the windows.
-Keep hot air out: Turn off all unnecessary lights and appliances.
-Replace light bulbs: Use new compact fluorescent light bulbs or light emitting diode bulbs, which use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
Additionally, the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program, available to all BGE customers with smart meters, is designed to help cut peak demand by rewarding customers for recucing consumption on designated days.
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