Don't be hot and bothered NOVEC's tips help lower air-conditioning costs this summer

August 01, 2019

Contact: Priscilla Knight, 703-392-1511,

MANASSAS, Va. – Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative offers 10 tips for lowering air-conditioning costs as temperatures soar this summer.  


“Electric bills rise in summer as air conditioners use more energy to cool spaces,” explains Marlon Gilbert, a NOVEC energy services specialist. “NOVEC wants to help consumers control costs so their electric bills won’t spike as heat and humidity increase.”  

NOVEC’s 10 Cooling Tips

  1. Turn the thermostat up to 75-78 degrees. Run fans in occupied rooms to help room occupants feel cooler. Running fans in unoccupied rooms only increases the electric bill. 
  2. Use fans in lieu of air conditioning. If not running an air conditioner, run a whole-house or window fan upstairs with windows open on the main floor. Make sure a window fan pushes air outside instead of pulling hot air inside.
  3. Replace air-conditioner filters regularly. Follow manufacturers’ instructions. Write the installation date on the filter. Also, keep the area around the outdoor A/C unit free of overgrown plants and anything that could hinder the unit’s efficiency. 
  4. Block solar heat by closing window treatments during the day on sunny sides of the house. Layer treatments – close curtains over blinds or shades. Window awnings work best since they repel solar rays before rays reach windows.  
  5. Close storms and lock windows. If need be, apply caulk and/or weatherstripping around windows and doors to keep hot air from infiltrating inside.
  6. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. Old-fashion incandescent light bulbs produce only 10 percent light, but a whopping 90 percent heat. LED bulbs produce almost no heat, use 80 percent less energy than incandescents, and last much longer.
  7. Cook with a microwave oven instead of a regular oven; grill outdoors. Don’t create a hot kitchen.
  8. Close a fireplace damper and glass doors. Hot air rises, but some hot outdoor air can come down a chimney and some cooled indoor air can go up it.
  9. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying a window air conditioner. Save 6 percent by shopping during Virginia’s sales tax holiday Aug. 2-4. Look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) when purchasing a central air-conditioning unit. The higher the SEER, the less energy the A/C will use.
  10. Lower the water-heater temperature. Set an electric water heater at 120 degrees; set a gas heater between “warm” and “hot.”

Learn more energy-saving ideas at


NOVEC, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a not-for-profit electric utility corporation that supplies and distributes electricity and energy-related services to more than 170,000 customers in Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford, and Clarke counties, the Town of Clifton, and the City of Manassas Park. It is one of the largest electric companies of its kind in the nation. For more information, visit or call 703-335-0500 or 1-888-335-0500.