In the midst of a heat wave, energy usage is generally higher than usual. To beat the heat, people spend as much time as possible inside of their air-conditioned homes, and while in the home, likely utilize many other energy-sucking appliances. While this is certainly an understandable response to sweltering weather, staying home and using electricity all day can cause more harm than good.
During days with higher temperatures, it is not uncommon for local governments and power companies to ask residents to reduce their energy usage. Power loss is a major concern during heat waves, and by using less energy, every person can help prevent this issue from happening. Limiting your energy usage can also save you from costly electric bills. By making a few changes to your normal energy usage, you can save money and help avoid shutdowns.
Use Your Air Conditioner Sparingly, or Set the Thermostat Higher
Understandably, air conditioners are one of the biggest energy users during heat waves. While keeping your air conditioner running all day will certainly keep you comfortable, it may not be worth it if your power goes out or when you need to pay your energy bill later. You can reduce your energy usage by periodically turning off your air conditioner and setting your thermostat at a higher temperature when it is running. Some thermostats even allow a scheduling function that automatically turns your air conditioner off or adjusts the temperature at certain times throughout the dat.
Avoid Using Other Large Appliances
While air conditioners are one of the biggest energy users, they are not the only appliances that can cause issues during a heat wave. Your washing machine, dishwasher, and other large appliances should also not be in use during a heat wave — at least not as much as you would normally use them. While you will likely need to continue to use these devices, you should reduce your use of them or opt for more energy-efficient ways of completing tasks. It can also be helpful to limit your use of large appliances to certain hours during which energy consumption may be lower.
Turn Off Any Devices You Can
When saving energy, every bit helps. Even shutting off the lights or a ceiling fan when you’re not in a room can contribute to lower electricity usage. Other devices like televisions and computers should be turned off when not in use, and phone chargers should be unplugged.
Close Your Curtains
When sunlight is able to enter your home, the heat from the sun comes in as well and causes your air conditioner to work overtime. To limit this, be sure to close your windows and any window coverings such as curtains or blinds.
Practice Energy Efficiency All Year
One of the best ways to conserve energy during a heat wave is by ensuring your home is efficient at all times. By installing newer devices and receiving regular maintenance on your air conditioner and other appliances, you can save energy in your home.