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Summer Cooling Tips to Help You Beat the Heat

With many parts of the country sweltering under high temperatures, EEI offers the following easy, no-cost tips to help you stay cool while saving money on your electric bill.
Here are 10 things you can do today:

  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher when the house is occupied, and at 85 degrees when no one’s home. (You’ll save 1-2 percent on cooling costs for each degree you raise your thermostat.)
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat.
  • Clean the filters in your window air conditioning units and clean or replace filters in central air conditioning systems. Clogged or dirty filters cause air conditioners to use more energy than necessary to keep a home cool.
  • Close the curtains or shades on any south- or west-facing windows during the daylight hours and save 2-4 percent on cooling costs.
  • If available, turn on ceiling and table fans—a fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about four degrees and still feel cool. But only use the fan when you’re in the room: fans cool people, not places.
  • For unused rooms, shut the doors and any air supply vents to save up to 3 percent on cooling costs.
  • Avoid using the stove if possible. Cooking with a microwave oven instead of a regular oven saves up to 90 percent on cooking costs. Also consider grilling outside instead. Plan carefully to minimize the number of trips in and out of the home though.
  • Wash/dry full loads of laundry in cold water to reduce electricity use.
  • Replace traditional incandescent bulbs (that produce more heat than light) with compact fluorescent or LED lights.
  • Visit your electric company’s Web site for additional ways to help you get more value from your energy dollars.

Check out EEI’s More Than 100 Ways to Improve Your Electric Bill for more helpful hints and opportunities to use energy wisely.