Keeping Things Cool
Reducing energy usage and managing costs during hot summer months
It’s been a record-breaking summer here in California, with temperatures soaring far above normal. Higher temperatures can trigger increased energy use and result in higher than normal bills.
Here are some simple ways you can stay cooler—and help lower your energy usage
- Using a ceiling fan while you're home and running the air conditioner will allow you to raise your thermostat setting about four degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow cooler air from the morning or night before to flow into your home. As the temperature rises, close the windows and draw the shades to keep pre-cooled air inside.
- Check the filter on your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. A dirty filter can cause your system to work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy.
- If possible, enjoy an afternoon out—at the pool, movies, park or local library.
More PG&E Summer Saving Tips
Learn how to reduce your energy usage and lower your costs—this summer and all-year round.
- If possible, move the air conditioning unit to a north-facing or shaded window, as direct sunlight reduces your unit’s efficiency. Provide shading for your air conditioning unit.
- Use exterior shading devices or plants to shade your home and windows from the sun.
- Fill up the fridge. Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. Then it doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool.
- Turn off lights when not needed.
- Make sure that connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet floors, walls, and ceilings. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.
- Use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home after showering or bathing. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside and not just to the attic.
- Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren't in use. Most new electronics use electricity even when switched "off."
- Turn computers and printers off at the power strip.
- Give your refrigerator breathing room: clean the coils and don’t set the temperature too low. The refrigerator should be kept between 38 degrees and 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and the freezer between 0 degrees and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clean the lint from the clothes dryer after every load. Run full loads and use the moisture-sensing setting.
- Consider replacing pool pumps and motors with energy-efficient equipment. If your pool has a filter and automatic cleaning sweep, shorten the operating time.
- Save energy and money by using pool covers.
- Remember to have your HVAC system serviced annually to ensure it’s running at optimum efficiency for money and energy savings.
- Seal your air ducts using mastic sealant or metal and insulate all the ducts you can access. In typical houses, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts.
- Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in.
- Buy an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner if your air conditioner is ready to be replaced and reduce energy usage.
- ENERGY STAR windows can make your house more comfortable year-round and save you money as well.
- Consider installing a whole house fan. A whole house fan placed in your attic draws cooler air into the home and forces hot air out through attic vents. Use it when the air is cool outside, such as in the early morning.
- Install a door sweep on your garage door to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold. This prevents warm air from coming in and cool air from escaping your home.
Learn more ways you can upgrade your home with PG&E’s Home Money Saver; increase your energy efficiency and lower your energy bills.
- SmartRate™ is a voluntary Summer Pricing Plan that gives you a new way to save money and gain more control on your summer electric bills.
- Energy Upgrade California™ Home Updgrade is a statewide program that offers incentives to homeowners who complete select energy-saving home improvements on a single-family residence and two to four unit buildings such as a townhouse, condominium, as well as homeowners associations with either single family homes or two to four unit buildings.
Another Way to Manage Summertime Spikes
PG&E provides convenient payment options to help balance out higher summer energy costs, including a program that lets you pay the same amount each month.
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Newly Redesigned Energy Statement
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Home Money Saver
PG&E incentive packages can help you save on new energy-efficient appliances and systems.