Energy conservation tips in triple digit heat - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Energy conservation tips in triple digit heat

Lots of people are having trouble keeping cool in their Lubbock homes. With triple digit temperatures several days in a row; air conditioners are working overtime.

Service technicians, like Shane Templin of Arctic Air, are working about as hard as the units themselves.

"We are running 15 to 17 hours per day, 7 days a week," Templin continued. "Normally we're 10 hour, 8 hour days, but this year it's been really rough."

Scorching temperatures plus dry conditions equal an uncomfortable start of summer, but it can be unbearable without a working air conditioner.

"Air conditioners are driving electricity right now in South Plains," said Chris Sims with LP&L.

There are a few things you can do before calling professionals that will save them some time and you some money.

"Number one, make sure your air filter is changed and maintained appropriately," Sims said.

With dry conditions and dead grass, there isn't much to keep loose dirt from being sucked up by your unit outside or tracked into your home. Templin says homes with pets need to be particularly concerned with shedding, as the hair ends up in filters.

"You could get 5 to 10 degrees depending on how dirty the filter is," said Templin.

Templin says to find a comfortable temperature and set your thermostat. The more you adjust the settings, the harder your unit works. Sims says overloads can cause electric bills to be higher.

If you're looking for other ways to save, turn the lights off. Try using low wattage bulbs that put out less heat. Shut blinds and curtains to keep out sunlight.

Avoid electric appliances that use heat between peak times of 3 and 7 p.m.  Experts say to use ceiling fans to keep air circulating.

"It's not a certain degree, a 68, 72, or 74, but the air moving in the home is what makes people feel comfortable," said Sims.

If you've followed all the tips and suggestions, and still need service, you're urged to be patient. Right now, technicians have one of the busiest jobs in town.

"For every one we run we turn down about 15 just trying to keep up with everybody," Templin said.

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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