As the weekend approaches and the temperature begins to rise we are forced to consume more energy. PSEG, which is already operating at nearly its limit, needs our help with balancing the load on the grid. To prevent power outages, we need to do our part by raising AC thermostat by just 1 degree, powering down any unused electronics and doing laundry and dishwashing after 10 PM. “These changes may seem small but will make a big difference” said Mayor Weinstock.
We encourage everyone to take some of the following low or no cost energy measures:
- Close drapes, windows and doors on your home’s sunny side to reduce solar heat buildup.
- Turn off air conditioners, lights and other appliances when not at home and use a timer to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. Use advanced power strips to centrally “turn off” all appliances and save energy.
- If purchasing an air conditioner, look for an ENERGY STAR qualified model. ENERGY STAR air conditioners use up to 25 percent less energy than a standard model
- Fans can make rooms feel five to 10 degrees cooler and use 80 percent less energy than air conditioners.
- Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees or higher to save on your cooling costs.
- Place your air conditioner in a central window, rather than a corner window, to allow for better air movement.
- Consider placing the unit on the north, east or the best-shaded side of your home. Your air conditioner will have to work harder and use more energy if it is exposed to direct sunlight.
- Seal spaces around the air conditioner with caulking to prevent cool air from escaping.
- Clean the cooling and condenser fans plus the coils to keep your air conditioner operating efficiently and check the filter every month and replace as needed.
- Use appliances such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and ovens early in the morning or late at night. This will also help reduce humidity and heat in the home.
- Use energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, and you can use 75 percent less energy.
- Microwave food when possible. Microwaves use approximately 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens.
- Dry clothes on a clothes line. If using a clothes dryer, remember to clean the dryer’s lint trap before every load.
- Be mindful of the different ways you’re consuming water throughout your home. Instead of using 30 to 40 gallons of water to take a bath, install a low-flow showerhead, which uses less than 3 gallons a minute.
- Limit strenuous outdoor physical activity especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma).
- Excessive heat is the leading cause of preventable, weather-related deaths each year, particularly among the elderly
- Elderly persons and small children are mostly affected.
- Persons with weight or alcohol problems are very susceptible to heat reactions.
- Persons on certain medications or drugs.
- Slow down on strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.
- Exercise should be done in the early morning between 4 A.M. and 7 A.M.
- Eat less protein and more fruits and vegetables. Protein produces and increases metabolic heat, which causes water loss. Eat small meals, but eat more often. Do not eat salty foods.
- Drink at least 2-4 glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
- If possible, stay out of the sun and stay in air conditioning. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a public building with air conditioning.
- If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head. When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.
- Do not leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or vehicle during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
- Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are elderly, have young children or have special needs.
- Make sure there is enough food and water for pets.