COVINGTON -- While there's not much anyone can do to actually alleviate triple-digit temperatures, there are steps homeowners can take to minimize the impact to their power bills and pocketbooks, according to Leigh-Anne Burgess, spokeswoman for Snapping Shoals EMC.
Burgess recommends implementing the following comfort and money-saving tips:
• Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day to block out the sun.
• Adjust the thermostat. During warmer months, raising the thermostat a few degrees can save money. Set the temperature between 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you could save up to 8 percent on monthly cooling bills.
• Be a "fan-atic." While they don't replace air conditioners or heat pumps, fans move air and help you feel more comfortable. On milder days, fans can save as much as 60 percent on electric bills. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave.
• Service your HVAC regularly. Snapping Shoals EMC recommends having your unit serviced annually to extend the life of your system and save money. Call 770-786-3484 for more information.
• When it's time to replace your cooling system, replace it with an ENERGY STAR-qualified model. Doing so could reduce your energy costs by as much as 30 percent.
• Bigger isn't always better. Too often, cooling equipment isn't sized properly and leads to higher electric bills. A unit that's too large for your home will not cool evenly and might produce higher bills.
• Plant trees and you'll have it made in the shade. Outside shade can reduce air conditioning costs 30 percent. Shade on the east and west is most important.
• Make sure furniture or drapes do not block your registers for supply and return air.
• Seal air leaks around doors and windows. Use calk and weather-stripping.
• Use a microwave instead of the oven.
Burgess said Snapping Shoals is prepared to furnish customers with as much power as they need to get through the current heat wave comfortably.
"Snapping Shoals EMC has adequate capacity to meet the needs of our members during this unprecedented heat wave," she said. "The heat has not affected our ability to provide our members with reliable electric service."