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Stay Cool While Protecting the Environment Even During Dog Days of Summer


This summer, you donít have to let sweltering temperatures and sky-high energy bills cause a sweat. By taking a few simple energy-efficient steps, Philadelphians can beat the heat while keeping more money in their pockets.

The average family spends $1,900 a year on energy bills, nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Due to hot and humid weather predictions for this week, the demand for electricity is forecast to reach high load levels. EPA is asking homeowners and employers to make a special effort to reduce their electricity consumption.

Here are specific steps that everyone can take:
* Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs use 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs.
* Remind your kids to shut off the light when they leave a room and the computer when theyíre finished.
* Use room fans to reduce the need for air conditioning. Circulating air can make a somewhat higher temperature feel more comfortable so you can set the AC three to five degrees higher.
* Keep the thermostat at a constant, comfortable level. Lowering the thermostat below the desired temperature will not cool the home faster.
* Run appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or evening hours when itís cooler outside.
* Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes from the windows.
* Place window air conditioning units on the shady side of the home to avoid overworking the unit in the hot daytime sun.
* Buy ENERGY STAR products because they operate more efficiently, save energy and help protect the environment.


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