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NOVEC Offers Energy-Saving Tips

Summer brought with it a heat wave this year. Air conditioners are staying busy trying to beat the heat as the thermometer climbs toward 100 degrees today. The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) offers easy, low-cost ways to stay cool:

• Set the air conditioner thermostat at 78 degrees when family members are home; run fans to feel cooler. Set it a few degrees higher if no person or pet is at home.

• Close and lock all storm and regular windows before turning on the AC.

• Close window shades, blinds, and drapes on the sunny sides of the home. As a quick temporary solution, tack up old, white bed sheets or cloth. White reflects more sunlight.

• Delay running the dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer until late at night or early in the morning.

• Turn the electric water heater temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees.

• Turn off all unnecessary lights, electronic devices, and appliances.

• Replace incandescent light bulbs — which produce only 10 percent light, but 90 percent heat — with compact fluorescent bulbs. CFLs are cooler and last much longer.

• Cook with a microwave oven instead of the stove and oven. Grill outdoors.

• Replace or clean the AC filter monthly to keep the AC from having to work harder.

It could be a long, hot summer. Invest more to save more on electric bills:

• Install a programmable thermostat.

• Have at least 38-R insulation in the attic.

• Install an attic fan.

• Consider installing window awnings on the sunny sides of the house, if your community allows them.

• Install Low-E film on sunny-side windows to repel heat rays.

• Replace regular window-screen mesh with solar mesh on sunny-side windows.

• In the fall, plant shade trees on the southern and western sides of the house.

 For more energy-saving tips, go to

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