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Chris Walls,  Manager, Conservation Programs

Walls 100X100v2.jpgBaltimore set a record last summer, with more than 50 days of 90 plus degree heat. With this summer only weeks away, is your home prepared for the oncoming warmer temperatures? By making some simple adjustments to your home, you can increase your energy efficiency and reduce the amount of energy it takes to keep cool. 

Here are some practical measures you can take to save energy this summer:
 
Keep cool air in and warm air out – Seal cracks in your walls, around windows and other crevices to keep cool air from escaping and warm air from entering your home.
 
Reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home – Close blinds and drapes during the day to keep out the sun's heat. In the evening, open blinds and drapes and let the heat escape through the glass.
 
Maintain your air conditioning – Replace your filter regularly, keep your system from overworking and extend its life span. Remember to have your system regularly maintained by a trained technician according to its manufacturer’s recommendations.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat – Programmable thermostats designed for your HVAC system can help you better control your cooling costs by keeping a daily or weekly climate schedule. They store and repeat multiple daily settings so you rarely ever have to make an adjustment, although you can usually manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program. If you have central air conditioning or a heat pump, consider signing up for PeakRewardsSM. BGE will install a programmable thermostat in your home at no additional cost. 
 

Do you have a few summer saving tips you’d like to share with us and other BGE customers? Feel free to send us your comments. Also, if you’re looking for more BGE tips and programs visit our Summer Ready page or BGESmartEnergy.com There, you’ll find details on programs such as our Quick Home Energy Check-up, our Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® and information on discounts and rebates for qualifying appliances and light bulbs. 

Wishing you an energy–efficient summer.

 
 

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Comments

April 01, 2016Sean Price says:
So what are we talking in terms of savings. Let's say I perform all the do it yourself tips, what's the percentage of savings I should expect? 10 percent savings? 15%? Higher? I know you can't give me an exact, but can you give me a range?
April 01, 2016Chris Walls says:
Thanks for your question Sean.

You’re right in that it’s nearly impossible to give an exact expectation of savings – since homes range in size and efficiency and weather conditions are also constantly changing, but we can provide estimated ranges of savings based on proven research. With regard to sealing your home, according to ENERGYSTAR.gov, sealing and insulating the "envelope" or "shell" of your home — its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors — is often the most cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. ENERGY STAR estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating.

We’ve not seen a specific energy savings amount associated with closing blinds in the summer time to reduce the sun’s radiant impact on your cooling bills, but this technique can be even more effective with windows that face the south. This technique also improves the comfort in your home during the summer as you’ll lessen hot spots and damage to important fabrics.

While changing your central air conditioner’s filter may only decrease your cooling costs by 1% - 2%, it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, as a dirty filter makes your system run harder. This could lead to a shortened lifespan of your system … replacing a cooling system costs thousands.

According to ENERGY STAR, a programmable thermostat (used properly) can save about $180/year or roughly 10% on your heating and cooling costs. (Your heating and cooling costs account for up to half of your overall energy bill).

For information on BGE programs and ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency, I encourage you to visit www.bgesmartenergy.com.
April 01, 2016Akesha says:
I have central air but some rooms are still cooler than others. Is there a way to evenly circulate my air? Does it matter if I have room doors or vs. closed?
April 01, 2016Chris Walls says:
A good first step is for you to confirm that all the registers in each room are fully open. It does make a difference when doors are closed as this can limit airflow out from the registers and back to the primary return. (The primary return is a large grate typically installed in a central location within your home). Make sure all the registers (and return) are clear of any obstructions such as furniture, rugs, etc. Uneven cooling can also be impacted by the exposure of the room. A room with lots of windows facing the south will receive higher amounts of the sun’s radiant heat when compared to a room on the north side of your home. Perhaps you should close your blinds during the heat of the day to limit this radiant buildup. If these tips don’t specifically address your uneven room temperatures, please call a licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor for a more specific diagnosis

BGE has several programs that can help you learn how efficient your home is and improve the overall efficiency to save energy and money. Visit BGESmartEnergy.com to learn more about BGE programs, such as our Quick Home Energy Check-up and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®

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