As temperatures climb this week in the Ark-La-Tex, so will energy use. In addition to encouraging the public and its employees to stay hydrated, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an AEP company (AEP: NYSE) is sharing tips on how you can conserve energy and keep your electric bill in check.
• Save heavy housework such as washing dishes, using the oven and laundry for cooler parts of the day. These appliances create heat and moisture that put an extra strain on your air conditioner.
• Keep direct sunlight out as much as possible. Close curtains, shades and blinds to hold down the temperature inside the home.
• Be sure the damper is tightly closed on a fireplace to prevent air loss.
• Clean or change the air filters in your air conditioning unit. Dirty filters cause the equipment to work harder, using up to 5 percent more energy than a clean filter.
• Use fans to circulate the air. The breeze makes the air feel cooler than it is. Fans only cost $1-$2 a month to operate.
• Properly ventilate your attic to prevent excess heat build-up, which causes your cooling system to work harder.
• Adding attic insulation up to R-30 (10-12 inches total) can reduce cooling costs by as much as 20 percent.
• Replace old weather-stripping around doors and windows to prevent leaks.
“All of the leaks in a home can be equivalent to leaving the front door open in the summer,” said Jeff Thigpen, SWEPCO Energy Efficiency & Consumer Program coordinator. “Adding insulation, sealing leaks and purchasing high-efficiency heat pumps are some of the ways you can reduce your energy use.”
Customers who qualify have the option to sign up for SWEPCO’s free Average Monthly Payment (AMP) plan. Through AMP, a customer’s bill is based on their average monthly energy usage. The costs of cooling are spread over the whole year with AMP, making summer bill payment manageable.
You also can track your energy usage and see how much electricity you have used in the past in the SWEPCO Mobile App. The SWEPCO app is available for free on the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.