CHICAGO, July 20 (UPI) -- As high temperatures continue in many states, a Chicago power company says there are ways to keep homes cooler without cranking up the air conditioning.
Commonwealth Edison Co., a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., said during periods of high heat customers should take simple steps to reduce energy usage while keeping homes comfortable.
Tim Melloch, ComEd's energy doctor, says rather than simply cranking up the air conditioning to beat the heat, keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level -- 75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Lowering the thermostat below the desired temperature will not cool the home faster.
Melloch also recommends:
-- Reducing heat and moisture during the warmest part of the day, run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or evening hours when it's cooler outside. Also, use a microwave to cook, or use an outside barbecue, if possible.
-- Keeping shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Awnings are even better, and can reduce heat gain by up to 75 percent. Window coatings and window film can reflect as much as 80 percent of direct rays from the sun.
-- Keeping doors to the outside, garage or attic firmly closed to keep cool air in and hot air out.
-- Using fans to evenly distribute cool air.
-- Turning off all unnecessary lighting, appliances and electronic devices to lessen heat in the home and save electricity.