National Grid offers tips on reducing energy consumption during summer

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WATERTOWN — National Grid is reminding customers of ways to reduce energy consumption during the summer months.

National Grid issued a news release on Tuesday about free and low-cost methods of reducing energy consumption when the weather is hot.

Closing window drapes and blinds during the day can block the sun’s light and heat into homes, according to National Grid. Running fans along with air conditioning units creates a windchill effect by distributing and circulating cold air throughout a room. Changing or cleaning the reusable filter in your air conditioner can improve air flow and efficiency.

National Grid also offers a Budget Billing Plan, in which customers pay a monthly amount based on their average energy usage. This spreads the cost out to provide a predictable monthly payment amount, according to National Grid.

“We periodically review accounts and adjust payment amounts to keep customers on track if their usage increases or decreases,” the news release said. “Participation is free of charge and can be discontinued at any time without penalty.”

Before it gets too hot, National Grid has a few tips.

— Have your central air conditioner checked. Just like you have your furnace serviced and cleaned each fall, you should have your central air conditioning system checked. Professionals will perform a comprehensive examination on your outside condenser and inside fan to ensure your system is working at peak efficiency.

— Replace your air conditioner’s air filter. Dirty air filters on central and room air conditioning systems can choke off the flow of air to your home’s ventilation system. Changing your filter as directed by the manufacturer not only permits air to flow freely, it helps your air conditioning run more efficiently.

— Vacuum your air intake vents and keep them clear. Dust builds up on your home’s air returns, and a couple of minutes with a vacuum can keep the air flow moving. Move toys, furniture and other objects away from the intake vent to keep air moving.

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