As high temperatures continue in many states, there are ways to keep homes cooler without cranking the air conditioning. During periods of high heat take simple steps to reduce energy usage while keeping homes comfortable. Rather than simply turning down the thermostat 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.
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; use a microwave to cook, or use an outside barbecue, if possible; and keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40% of unwanted heat comes through windows. Awnings are even better, and can reduce heat by up to 75%.
Source: Commonwealth Edison Chicago Power Company