AKRON, Ohio -- As temperatures rise, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) customers can take steps to beat the heat while also managing their energy costs.
Extreme temperatures can often lead to rising energy use for customers as the need for air conditioning increases and HVAC systems strain to keep up with higher demand. Though customers are unable to control the weather, there are several things they can control to reduce electricity use while keeping their homes cool and comfortable.
Implementing the following tips will help customers use electricity wisely during this period of high demand:
• Set thermostats as high as comfort will allow. Every degree a customer can increase the temperature in their home will result in using about 3 percent less energy during the summer. During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on windows facing the sun to prevent direct radiant heating from impacting interior temperatures.
• Use fans – moving air cools skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days.
• Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep temperatures higher when no one is home and to reduce the temperature before arrival back home.
• Only operate window air conditioners when someone is in the room.
• Keep refrigerators and freezers as full as possible. Frozen or cold items in the refrigerator help keep other items cool, reducing the amount of work the refrigerator must do to maintain a lower temperature.
• Close rooms that aren't used regularly during the summer, and close the air conditioning vents in those rooms, as well.
• Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat produced at home, the less work the air conditioner will do.
• Consider investing in ENERGY STAR® appliances or heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. FirstEnergy's utilities may offer rebates on these purchases and tax deductions may apply as well.
• Check air conditioner and furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing HVAC systems to work harder than necessary.
For more energy efficiency tips and information about energy-saving programs in your area, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/save_energy
FirstEnergy is also taking steps to ensure its system is prepared to handle the increased electricity demands during the summer period. Its utilities are proactively inspecting the system to identify issues with substations and power lines. Proactive repairs are made where necessary to avoid potential power outages in the future. In addition, visual inspections of other equipment including transformers, capacitors and lightning arrestors are being conducted to ensure equipment is operational and lines are ready to perform efficiently when demand for electricity increases.
Other FirstEnergy summer safety tips are available at www.firstenergycorp.com/safety
For bill assistance resources, customers may visit www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist