HARRISBURG – It's hot and only getting hotter. With high temperatures expected to continue through the week, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today reminds consumers to conserve energy during days with severe heat and humidity.

Consumers can view the Summer Heat Wave fact sheet on the PUC website. Tips to avoid the summer heat and humidity include:

Ÿ On hot and humid days, set your thermostat at 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees or off when you are away for long periods of time;

Ÿ If you have window air conditioning units, close off rooms not in use.

Ÿ Make sure all air conditioner filters are clean and in good shape.

Ÿ Turn off non-essential appliances and as many lights as possible.

Ÿ Postpone using appliances that produce heat such as clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves until after 7 p.m. These appliances also use significant amounts of electricity adding to the demand on an electric infrastructure that is already stressed during peak hours due to heat.

Ÿ Keep drapes closed and shades drawn. The amount of energy required to cool your home will be considerably less;

Ÿ Replace filters monthly for maximum benefit and check air and return vents on a regular basis to keep circulation air paths clear; and

Ÿ Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight.

Before a heat wave, learn the terms used by the National Weather Service:

Ÿ Heat Warning – Life threatening heat is occurring, imminent or highly likely;

Ÿ Heat Advisory – High and potentially dangerous values of heat are occurring, imminent or highly likely; and

Ÿ Heat Watch – Excessive heat is possible in the next day to two.

During a heat wave, there are easy ways to stay healthy and safe:

Ÿ Older adults and people with chronic health problems should stay indoors during a heat wave and in the coolest available place;

Ÿ Drink plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool;

Ÿ Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages, they make the heat's effects on your body worse;

Ÿ Strenuous activity should be reduced, eliminated or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day; and

Ÿ Caution should be used when operating fans in closed rooms so as not to simulate a convection oven. Windows should be opened and a fan used to exhaust heat from the area.