To avoid such occurrences, many utilities have added monitors to their meters and informed their customers of higher charges during peak usage hours.
This has helped somewhat to reduce outages from heavy usage, but you can monitor yourself to reduce your own cost and impact on the system.
1. Monitor it
Keep your thermostat at 78° or higher
2. Program it
Install a programmable thermostat so that you can run your air conditioner only when you’re home. If you’re fortunate to have more than one zone – be sure to set them according to when you will be in that part of the house.
3. Move it
Move lamps, TV’s or other heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat. These may cause it to keep running even after your home is cooled.
4. Replace it
Replace your air conditioning filters as often as necessary to keep them clean and filtering effectively. Once a month during the summer check them for dirt and clogged pores.
5. Clean it
Clean the air intake grates in your home and, if you can do so safely, clean the exposed grill and spines of the outside unit.
6. Turn it off
Turn off all heat-producing appliances such as the oven, stove, dishwasher and dryer during the hottest hours of the day. Save these activities for the cooler times of the day
7. Fan it
Portable fans and ceiling fans can help keep you cool when you are home. You can also use exhaust fans when you shower or cook to vent warm, moist air.
8. Insulate it
Insulating your home with the proper insulation in the walls, attic and crawl spaces is critical to keeping all that cooled air in your home.
9. Plant it
Up with trees! That’s right, planting deciduous trees facing southeast and southwest for summer shade and winter sun not only helps with your electric bill, it also brings joy and beauty to you home.
10. Check it
Have a professional inspect and tune-up your cooling system every few years to extend life and lower electrical bills.
Be safe, cool and enjoy your summer!