Summer doesn’t arrive until June 21, but temperatures make it feel like the seasons have already changed.
An early season heat wave combined with a lack of afternoon thunderstorms has forced residential and commercial air conditioners to work overtime, resulting in a surge in electricity use in Kissimmee on Monday, according to a Kissimmee Utility Authority press release. As temperatures rise, so does demand for air conditioning.
Energy demand on Monday reached 360 megawatts – 21 percent higher than last week’s average. The increase in electricity use will likely lead to higher power bills for utility customers in the coming weeks, KUA officials said.
KUA offers these energy-saving tips that require little or no expense and can help to reduce energy costs:
Set the thermostat on the highest comfortable setting (KUA recommends 78-80 degrees). Raising the temperature just two degrees can reduce cooling costs by as much as five percent.
Use oscillating and ceiling fans instead of lowering the thermostat setting – but remember to turn them off when you’re not in the room.
Close blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day to block the sun’s heat.
Remember that window air conditioning units generally are not designed to cool more than one room.
Clean or replace window unit or central air conditioning system filters monthly. Dirty filters cause air conditioners to work harder and use more energy.