NEWARK – With the first heat wave of 2013 predicted to hit New Jersey this week, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) offers the following tips to help customers stay cool, reduce energy use and control costs.
- Install a programmable thermostat and raise the setting to the highest comfortable temperature. You can save 3 to 5 percent on your air conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat.
- Close doors leading to uncooled parts of your home. If you have central air conditioning, close off vents to unused rooms. Keep filters clean.
- Even if you have air conditioning, use ceiling and other fans to provide additional cooling and better circulation.
- Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows. Eliminate air leaks around window air conditioners with foam insulation or weather-stripping.
- Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat and help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
- Turn off power sources. TVs, computers and other electronic devices draw power when they are in standby mode or turned off but still plugged in. Plug electronics into power strips and turn off the power switch when the items are not in use.
- Use timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.
- Replace old appliances with new energy efficient Energy Star appliances.
- If possible, install whole-house fans that bring in cooler night-time air that can pre-cool a house and reduce energy use in the daytime if heat is kept out by closing windows and shades.
- Join PSE&G’s Cool Customer Program, in which participants are rewarded for voluntarily reducing electricity use during periods of high energy demand (through cycling of the air conditioning compressor on and off at 15-minute intervals). PSE&G electric customers with central air conditioning can receive a one-time $50 credit on their electric bill and a free programmable thermostat installed at no charge. (Or they may choose to receive a cycling switch installed on their central air conditioner compressor outside the home and a $4 electric bill credit per summer month plus $1 per cycling event, year after year.) Customers can learn more at www.pseg.com/coolcustomer.
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