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Jackson EMC offers tips for staying cool as summer’s heating up

(JEFFERSON, GA. May 24, 2019) – As temperatures climb into the 90s, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation encourages members to reduce energy use where possible to save money. When temperatures outside are high, heat pumps must work overtime to keep the air indoors cool.

Follow these tips to reduce energy use to save money.

Stay Cool for Less

Nearly half of the electricity used at home goes to condition the air inside. To impact cost, the air conditioner or heat pump needs to run less.

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees.
  • Don't turn off the air conditioner when you're gone; instead set it higher. Turning it off makes the system work much harder to overcome the heat built up in the house when you turn it back on.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. Set it to bring your home's temperature down to 78 degrees 30 minutes before you get home.
  • Replace air conditioner filters now, then once a month. The dirtier the filter, the harder your heat pump must work.
  • Lamps, televisions or anything that creates heat needs to be kept away from the thermostat, as they will impact its accuracy.
  • Don't block vents with furniture or other objects.
  • Use ceiling fans when you are in a room to provide additional cooling; they also provide better circulation, which reduces air conditioning costs.
  • Trim foliage around the air conditioning condenser to allow adequate airflow around the unit.

Reduce Heat Inside

  • Restrict use of heat-producing appliances like ovens, dishwashers and dryers to the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler outdoors.
  • Grill outside or use a microwave or toaster oven. A toaster oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a regular oven and releases less heat into the home.
  • Turn off heat-generating devices when not in use — including lamps, televisions and computers.
  • On warm days, close blinds and drapes, especially in south-facing windows which allow in the most heat.

Cut Energy Use Everywhere Else

  • Activate “sleep” features on computers and office equipment that power down when the equipment is not in use.
  • Do full loads when you use clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers.
  • Use dimmers, timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • Replace lightbulbs with LED bulbs, which burn longer and produce less heat.

Plan Long-term

  • Plant deciduous trees to shade the south side of your house.
  • Insulate floors, walls and attics to keep cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  • Get your air conditioner tuned-up. Consider a maintenance contract that provides a checkup twice a year, prior to peak cooling and heating seasons.
  • If your HVAC unit is 10 years old or more, consider replacing it. New models are more efficient and may lower your electric bill. Jackson EMC offers rebates and low-interest loans for qualifying members. More details about these programs are available at www.jacksonemc.com/rebates.

For more money-saving tips, check out the list at www.jacksonemc.com/waystosave.

To minimize the impact weather has on electric bills, many electric utilities offer billing options that level out the costs from summer and winter energy usage over a 12-month period. Jackson EMC’s budget billing plan for members works by averaging the current month and the last 11 months of electric use, which becomes the new monthly payment amount. Members interested in budget billing should call their local office at 1-800-462-3691 or learn more at www.jacksonemc.com/budgetbilling.

Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, the largest electric cooperative in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation, is headquartered 50 miles northeast of Atlanta in Jefferson, Ga. The cooperative serves more than 225,000 meters on 14,000 miles of energized wire. For more information, visit jacksonemc.com.