Electricity is vital in today’s society, but it definitely doesn’t come for free.  As we enter into the later part of summer, it’s very common to see our electric bills go up, up, up.  So how do you stay cool this summer and still keep your costs down? It’s all about conserving energy.  Here are a few tips to save energy and money during the dog days of summer.

Hands Off

Running your air conditioning unit is probably the source of most of your electric bill woes.  Summers in the south are no joke, and your A/C unit has to work overtime to compensate for the stifling heat outside.  If you have family members who like varying degrees of coolness, it’s best to come to an agreement on what number you want to set your thermostat at and leave it there.  The more you turn your thermostat up and down, the more electricity your unit uses to accommodate your requests. If you leave it at one temperature consistently, you are reducing the amount of energy it takes to run your A/C, which will lead to lower amounts on your bill at the end of the month.

Close The Curtains

As nice as it is to let the natural sunlight in your home, if you are trying to reduce cooling costs, it is in your best interest to keep your curtains closed during the hot days of summer.  The sun will naturally cause your home to rise in temperature, making your A/C kick on when it might not normally. If you keep your curtains closed, your home will remain cooler and your A/C can get a little break–giving your wallet a break in the meantime.

Turn off the Lights

Another easy way to save a little money on your electric bill is to simply turn off all of the lights in your home that you are not using.  If you know you are leaving a room and won’t be back for at least 15 minutes, just turn off the light. Not only do you save energy from not using the lightbulbs as much, but darker rooms are also a bit cooler than rooms with lots of light.  Kill two birds with one stone and just keep unnecessary lights off to save energy and keep cool.

Be Cool in the Kitchen

During the summer months, try to keep cooking with your oven to a minimum to save money.  It should come as no surprise that when your oven is heated, it will leak heat out into the rest of your house.  The more you use your oven on really hot days, the more your A/C has to work overtime to keep you cool. And as we all know, this results in higher costs on your monthly electric bill.  So make summer meals that will keep not only you cool, but your home cool as well, and leave the oven for the cooler months.

All of these tips are really just basic, simple ways to reduce your energy consumption over the hotter months.  None of these on their own will make ridiculous dents in your electric bill, but done together and consistently, you will see changes in the amounts you are charged.  Every little bit of energy conservation adds up over time, and you will reap the benefits if you stick to these habits.

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