Energy consumption tips

It's expected to be another hot day in the Bluegrass, with temperatures expected to reach into the 90's.

That means many people will be turning their air conditioners lower to stay cool.

Kentucky Utilities officials say there are many things there customers can do, during the hot weather, to reduce energy consumption and demand.

The following is a list of tips KU provided.

Set air conditioners to the highest comfortable setting during the day: 78-80 degrees works for most people. Raising your air conditioner setting by one degree can save you 4-7 percent on the cooling portion of your energy bill.

Turn off all unnecessary lights. Use fluorescent lighting, which is cooler.

Turn off all unnecessary appliances. Run your dishwashers, dryers and washing machines during the evening hours (after 7 p.m.) when energy consumption is lower.

Use ceiling fans to circulate the cool air. Fans can help you feel more comfortable at higher temperatures. Window fans, ceiling fans or whole-house fans use much less power and are an alternative to air conditioners. Turn the fan off when you leave the room since the fan does its job by cooling you - not the room.

Close curtains, drapes and/or blinds to keep the hot sun's heat out of your home.

Don't close air registers and do not close off rooms completely because it can increase system pressure and damage the compressor.

Furniture or drapes should not block air registers.

Cook outdoors on your grill; use a microwave oven or crockpot or prepare cold meals to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in about one-fourth the time.

Check your air filters monthly - even on extended filters. Change if necessary. Dirty air filters make your air conditioner work harder. Clean the filter in window units as well. It is behind the front panel.

The outdoor unit of an air conditioner should be kept free from plants, dirt or grass clippings that will interfere with air circulation. Wash the coil periodically with a garden hose.

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