Stay cool and comfortable at home with these tips from Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE):

– Use a qualified contractor to professionally maintain your central air at least every two years. And, be sure to clean leaves and grass clippings off your outdoor air-conditioning unit.

– Run major appliances before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m. or on weekends. This helps lower the demand for power during peak times.

– Set your thermostat as high as is comfortable, preferably 78 degrees or higher when you are home and up to 85 degrees when you are away. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat – they can adjust temperatures automatically based on your routine and can make saving energy easier.

– Swap your lightbulbs with LEDs, which use up to 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last longer.

– Unplug your phone chargers, printers, computers and other electronics when you are not using them. These devices can still use energy when not in use and can account for 5-10% of your total energy use.

– Run a whole house fan, room or ceiling fans. Be sure to turn off ceiling and room fans when no one is in the room – fans cool people, not rooms.

– Seal around your window air conditioner so cool air cannot escape. If you need to purchase a new unit, consider a Wi-Fi window air conditioner; you can control them remotely with smartphone apps, which allow you to adjust the temperature while you’re away.

– Keep your window coverings closed to block out direct sunlight.

– Run full loads in your washer and dryer to cut down on excess energy usage.

– Keep your water heater temperature set at 120 degrees, and if you go on vacation, remember to switch it to vacation mode.

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