Keep cool without heating up your electric bills

July 21, 2022

Contact: NOVEC Public Relations, 1-888-335-0500,

Porch Umbrella Shade

A half patio umbrella is an easy awning. It helps repel hot sunrays to keep homes more comfortable and reduce cooling costs. NOVEC photo.


MANASSAS, Va. – Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative offers 10 tips for staying cool without heating up electricity bills.  

“With supply-chain problems, soaring inflation, and high gasoline prices, people want to stay cool and comfortable on hot summer days,” says Matt Robertson, NOVEC Customer Service and Public Relations manager. “NOVEC wants to help everyone control their electric bills as heat and humidity increase.”  

NOVEC’s 10 Cooling Tips

  1. Set the air-conditioner thermostat at 75-78 degrees and run fans. Spinning ceiling and floor fans in occupied rooms displace warm air and make occupants feel cooler, but fans running in unoccupied rooms only increase electric bills. Run ceiling fans counterclockwise to force air down and provide a wind-chill effect.
  2. Use fans instead 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. Close storm windows and lock main windows when using air conditioning. If needed, apply caulk and/or weather-stripping around windows and doors to keep hot air from infiltrating inside.
  4. Replace air-conditioner filters regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Write the installation date on the filter. A dirty filter makes an A/C use more energy.
  5. Keep the area around the outdoor air-conditioner unit free of overgrown plants and anything that hinders the unit’s efficiency. 
  6. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying an air conditioner, ceiling fan, and light bulbs. Look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) when purchasing a central air-conditioner. Federal law will start requiring new central units have a minimum of SEER 15 in January 2023.
  7. Close window treatments during the day on sunny sides of the house to block solar heat. Closing curtains over blinds or shades is even better. Window awnings repel heat before sunrays reach windows. Use a half patio umbrella up against a picture window or sliding French doors.  
  8. Close fireplace flue damper and glass doors. Hot air rises, but some hot outdoor air can come down an open chimney and some cooled air can escape up it. Turn off a gas fireplace’s gas flow.
  9. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs produce 10% light while creating 90% heat. LED bulbs produce almost no heat, use 80% less energy than incandescents, and last much longer.
  10. Use a microwave oven instead of a regular oven or grill outdoors to avoid heating up the kitchen.

Find 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 approximately 177,000 metered 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 .

NOVEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.    

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