How to Save Energy During a Heat Wave

Texas is in the middle of a massive heat wave, and this year’s summer may be the hottest in years.

Along with humidity and heat, a heat wave can also mean higher electric bills. While it’s not possible to totally offset the increase in your utility bill that comes with turning down the air conditioning to arctic levels, you can alleviate it by taking some measures to save energy during summer.

Why is it essential to save energy during a heat wave?

The electrical grid can become overwhelmed due to the surge in energy loads to dehumidify and cool homes and buildings. If this happens, the grid turns on additional, but less efficient power plants to meet the area’s demand for electricity.

Consider these tips to spend less on your energy bill and reduce energy demands on the grid this season.

Turn off non-essential lighting

LED lighting normally uses at least 75 percent less energy and can last longer. Ease the strain on your air conditioning unit during a heat wave by closing your blinds, curtains, and drapes. If doing this means that you need to turn the light on, use LED lighting. Good to know: LEDs emit very little heat compared to traditional bulbs.

Lower your water heating costs

We don’t usually think about water heating, but did you know that it typically accounts for 20 percent of your home’s energy? During a heat wave, avoid baths, have a cool shower, and if you do have to do the laundry, it’s best if you put it in a cool setting or just do the chore in the evening, since a lot of energy companies charge extra during “peak hours.”

Turn off all unnecessary electronic devices

Every little bit helps – especially when you are trying to save energy. Turning off the ceiling fan or shutting off the lights before going out of a room can help lower your energy usage. Turn off monitors, computers, or printers whenever possible, especially if you’ll be gone for more than an hour.

Close the blinds and drapes

Your air conditioner works overtime when sunlight (and the heat) enters into your home. Limit this by closing any window coverings like blinds and curtains. This way, your air conditioning unit will not work twice as hard your home will stay cool naturally.

Avoid using major appliances

Air conditioners are not the only appliances that use the most power during a heat wave. Limit the use of major appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine to save energy. It can be also helpful to use them during the hours when energy consumption is lower.

Ensuring that your home is energy-efficient at all times is still one of the best ways to save energy during summer. By using products with the Energy Star label and ensuring that your appliances are well maintained, you can save energy this season.

“Why is it so hot already in Texas? Early heat wave is an ominous sign for summer,” Fort Worth Star Telegram,

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