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REGIONAL — While there are many lovely things about living in Hampton Roads, the summer heat and humidity aren’t necessarily on everyone’s “top ten” lists. While air conditioning provides much needed relief for the balmy temperatures, electric bills can sometimes skyrocket as a result. Here are some helpful tips to save energy during the summer months.

  1. Make sure to check and clean your filters. According to Dominion Energy, filters should be changed monthly to allow for your cooling systems to work more efficiently.
  2. Use coverings on your windows and prevent heat from leaking in from elsewhere. Seal cracks and openings to your home and add caulk or weather stripping to seal any leaks in your doors and windows. To learn more about different types of window coverings, visit the website for the Department of Energy.
  3. Try to avoid placing lamps and television sets near your home’s thermostat. Also, unplug electric items that you can while they are not in use. This includes your phone and computer chargers, small appliances (e.g. toaster), and coffee pots. Your system might detect the extra heat given off by these items and run your air conditioner longer than necessary.
  4. Fans are must in Hampton Roads. Most ceiling fans will have a toggle switch that will allow you to change the direction in which it spins. Make sure that your fan is turning in a counter-clockwise motion, indicating that it is blowing air down instead of up. When you leave a room, turn it off.
  5. If you are going to be away from home for more than 8 hours, consider raising your thermostat a few degrees for an added savings.

It is important to make sure that you have routine maintenance performed on your system by a qualified HVAC specialist.

Also consider performing an “energy audit.” This is an assessment of the energy needs and efficiency of a building. These can be performed by a professional or you can perform one yourself. To learn more about energy audits, visit this link on the Department of Energy’s website: Energy Audits via Department of Energy.

For more tips to carry you through the year, visit the website for Dominion Energy.