How to Save Energy in the Heat of the Summer

With much of the country battling extreme heat this summer, energy bills are burning a hole in people’s pocketbooks. When temps soar into the high 90s and even 100-plus, air conditioners work overtime and electricity consumption goes through the roof.

Feeling the heat of high energy bills? Here’s how to lower your costs.

  • Move your air conditioning unit to a shaded area. Direct sunlight will reduce efficiency.
  • Set a programmable thermostat to cool the house only when people are home. Ideally it should be at 78 degrees when people are home and at 85 when you’re away.  If you’re used to keeping it lower (like low 70s, perhaps) acclimate to a warmer temp by increasing your thermostat one degree every few days. Most people acclimate easily if the temperature change is gradual.
  • Change your air filter every three months, but check it monthly—if it looks dirty, change it. A dirty filter means the unit has to work harder to keep the house cool.
  • Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave the room. Similarly, there’s no sense wasting AC power on an empty room, so close doors and air vents when rooms aren’t in use.
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Not only do Energy Star bulbs use less energy, but they also produce 75% less heat than incandescent lighting. Every little bit helps, right?
  • You’ll pay less to keep your fridge cold if the freezer is defrosted regularly, the vents aren’t blocked by dust and if you open and close the door as infrequently as possible.
  • On really hot days, skip the oven. No need to heat up the kitchen when your AC is working hard to keep it cool.

Final Word: Doing simple things to save energy can make a big difference on your utility bills. If you go through this list and check each tip off, you may notice a welcome drop in energy costs.

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