Slash your energy bill with these simple cooling tips.
Summer is finally here, which means beach days, barbecues, and of course, hotter temperatures. Although it can be hard to resist cranking up the air conditioner during those 90-degree plus days, here's why you might want to think twice before you do.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, the average homeowner spends $875 on cooling and heating costs alone.
• No Cost: Take advantage of your curtains! Shades and curtains will help prevent the sun from overheating your house.
• No Cost: Save money by using both a ceiling fan and air-conditioning (AC) unit. Try raising your thermostat by two degrees in combination with running a ceiling fan. This small change can lower costs by 14 percent. Turn off the fan when you leave the room.
• No Cost: Raise your thermostat a few degrees (4 to 7 degrees higher) during work hours when no one will be in the house to save about $180 a year.
• Low Cost: Use energy-efficient light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. ENERGY STAR lighting produces 70 to 90 percent less heat than incandescent bulbs.