The summer weather won’t be as hot this week in the state has it was in the days before the official start of summer. Nonetheless, Oklahoma Gas and Electric is encouraging its customers to take some steps to control energy costs.
It’s offering at least 8 such steps to save energy and money.
- Have your heating and or cooling system tuned and inspected by a service professional. Losses from a poorly maintained system accumulate over time – Sometimes at a rate of 1-2 percent each year. OG&E’s Home Energy Efficiency Program (HEEP) provides no-cost air conditioner tune-ups, a $175 value, as well other home energy efficiency improvement rebates.
- Clean or change air conditioner filters monthly. The flow of air is the key to cooling, so don’t make your system work harder than it has to. Also, make sure that air vents are clear of furniture or other objects that might slow down the flow of air.
- Use a programmable thermostat to manage your home’s temperature. Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature when you’re home and raise it a few degrees when you’re not home. Each degree a thermostat is raised can save up to three to four percent on the cost of operating an air conditioner. Customers on OG&E’s SmartHours® program receive a free programmable thermostat and incentives for shifting their energy outside of the company’s peak hours—nearly half-price electricity during non-peak times.
- Avoid activities that add heat or humidity to your home, particularly during the hottest parts of the day, or limit them to times when nobody is home. For example, turn on your dishwasher as you leave the house or let dishes air dry rather than use the dishwasher’s heater. Cook meals and dry clothes during the cooler times of the day.
- Use fans to keep air moving. A ceiling fan uses about as much electricity as a light bulb — far less than an air conditioner. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms. If your fan is running in an unoccupied room, you’re wasting energy instead of saving it.
- Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen while cooking. The savings in your cooling costs far outweigh the electricity use of the fan.
- Plant shade trees to block the heat from the sun. As the trees grow, they can dramatically cut your cooling bills.
- Close drapes and shades on windows during the day to keep heat from the sun out of your house. (Particularly on windows with an eastern or western exposure). In the evening, opening drapes and shades lets heat escape through the windows.