If this week’s temperatures are any indication, summer may be arriving a little early to the 10 counties Walton Electric Membership Corporation serves with electric power. That means the annual increase in energy use to keep cool on those hot days is also right around the corner.
“Cooling is the largest part of most residential electric bills,” says Walton EMC’s Greg Brooks. “But that doesn’t mean it has to be out of control. There are plenty of steps consumers can take to help keep energy use down.”
- Close blinds, shades or curtains to keep the sun’s rays out.
- Avoid using heat-producing appliances – like ovens, ranges and dryers – during the hot part of the day.
- Make sure rugs, furniture or anything else do not block your cooling system’s indoor vents.
- Don’t pile things like garden tools or debris around your air conditioner’s outdoor unit. Make sure plants, shrubs or coverings designed to hide the unit aren’t too close to hamper air circulation.
- Remind your kids to keep outside doors closed.
- Turn off lights when not in use. Even today’s energy-efficient LEDs still produce some heat.
- Use ceiling or box fans to supplement the cooling power of your AC.
- Change air conditioner filters regularly.
- Reapply caulk to cracks around windows and doors and replace torn or worn weatherstripping.
Medium- to High-cost Tips
- Have a licensed HVAC contractor service the air conditioner.
- Add insulation to the home’s attic if its level is less than R-30.
“Customer-owners can monitor their energy use down to the hour on our web portal,” says Brooks. “That’s an excellent way to catch problems before they get too big or make sure there are no surprises when the power bill arrives.” Go to myWaltonEMC.com to access the portal.
Walton EMC is an innovative, customer-owned and focused electric utility serving accounts in 10 Northeast Georgia counties between Atlanta and Athens. In its long history of meeting customer-owners’ needs, the cooperative established successful natural gas and security subsidiaries as well as nationally recognized residential consumer and commercial customer choice solar initiatives. For more information, visit waltonemc.com.