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Chill your Bill: Don’t Sweat the Heat with These Tips
Mother Nature is bringing on the heat, and summer isn’t even here yet!
Did you know that for every degree lower than 78 degrees on your thermostat can increase your bill as much as 3 percent? So, if you crank down your air conditioner to 72 degrees, you’ve already increased your bill by 18 percent.
These above-normal temperatures are a good reminder to take steps to keep your cool now and all summer long. Besides setting your thermostat at 78 degrees (or more), there are other things you can do.
- Get your A/C inspected. Inspectors can make sure your system is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible. After all, your air conditioning and heating usage makes up more than half of your bill during the summer and winter months.
- Make sure you change your air filters regularly. Some units require monthly cleaning or replacing.
- Buy a programmable thermostat. As energy usage rises, costs also rise. If you spend most of your day outside of the house, set your thermostat to automatically shut off or raise the A/C setting when you are away.
- Use fans to cool off, but remember – fans cool people, not rooms. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity and circulate the air, which helps you feel several degrees cooler. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
- Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep the sun out and the cool air in. Also, close air conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
- Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and duct work. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air inside the house and the hot air outdoors.
- If your water seems very hot, you can turn it down to medium setting to save energy, say around 120 degrees. That is fine for dishwashers and washing machines. Wash with cold water when possible. Your electric water heater costs make up about 20 percent of your electric bill.
- Use toaster ovens or crock pots to prevent heating up your house with your stove top and oven.
- Lights do not use a lot of electricity, but it all adds up. Use lower wattage bulbs or LED bulbs to save energy.
For more information on how to save money and keep your cool this summer, visit http://www.entergy-texas.com/your_home/save_money/EE/residential.aspx