MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Staying cool doesn't have to drive up energy costs during the hottest months of the year. According to South Carolina Electric & Gas, homeowners can take some simple steps to manage their power bills this summer.
-It especially helps to raise the thermostat several degrees higher than your comfortable setting when you are away, especially for several days at a time. This helps to keep the system from running a lot less when you do not need it to.
-Keep blinds and windows closed during the day to keep out radiant heat.
-Use fans to help you feel cooler but remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
-If you have a gas water heater, turn it to "vacation mode" when you are away for several days.
-Check your air filters monthly. Change them when you see that they are dirty or according to the manufacturer guidelines.
-Keep HVAC vents and interior doors open to keep air flowing freely to and from the unit.
-Have central heating and cooling systems professionally serviced annually.
-Set water heaters to 120°F and visually inspect them occasionally for leaks.
-Unplug appliances, lights, TVs, and computers when they are not being used. They are still using energy even when they are not being used plugged in.
-Caulk, seal, and weather-strip around all seams, cracks and openings to protect against drafts. It helps to caulk and weather strip all exterior doors and windows to keep the conditioned air in your living space.
"During the summer and year-round we recommend that customers take advantage of SCE&G's free Home Energy Check-up," said Ginger Greenway, manager of energy information services with SCE&G. "It's a great way to identify the areas that customers are losing energy, and the best part is that it is specific to their home."
SCE&G is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 681,000 customers in South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 332,000 customers throughout the state.
More information about SCE&G is available at www.sceg.com.