Sunshine and warm temperatures aren’t the only things summertime brings in the south. It also means an increase in energy consumption to help offset those scorching temperatures.
As the dogdays of summer come rolling in, don’t let your bills get hit with the summertime blues. Take these easy steps, and be sure to tell your family, friends and neighbors to do the same, to help keep bills low through the hot-weather months:
Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree lower than 78 can raise your bill as much as 3 percent. If you crank down the A/C to a cooler 72 degrees, you’ve already increased your bill by 18 percent.
Buy a programmable thermostat. As energy use rises, costs also rise.
Use fans to cool off, but remember – fans cool people, not rooms. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity to circulate the air, which helps you feel several degrees cooler. To save more energy, be sure 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 ductwork. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air in and the hot air out.
Make sure air coming into your home is clean and healthy. Air filters on some air conditioning units require monthly cleaning or replacement. You can also get your