Stay Cool: How to Save on Summer Cooling Costs

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It’s almost August, and with that comes sweltering temperatures–and sticker shock when you open up your electricity bill. I live in Texas, and it gets hot here–as in, regularly over 100 degrees. During my first summer in the Lone Star state, I remember getting my electricity bill and immediately calling the electric company to inform them they’d made some sort of mistake.

They hadn’t, so I was forced to figure out how to save money on my bill. Here are a few ways I learned to save on my energy charges during the summer while still keeping cool:

Get a programmable thermostat.
If your home doesn’t already have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to get one. They are easy to install and are inexpensive;  you don’t have to spend hundreds on a fancy one that senses your presence or tracks your body temperature or anything like that. If you already have a programmable thermostat, take a few minutes to learn how to program it.

Once you do, program it so the temperature is warmer while you’re away at work or sleeping. You’ll be shocked at how much you end up saving.

Switch providers.
If you live in one of the 19 states that have deregulated electricity, you have the option of switching your provider if you feel you’re paying too much. Ask neighbors and friends which provider they use and compare costs. Or, sign up for a service that has an enticing new customer plan. With so many companies competing for your business, you’re bound to save money by switching.

Use ceiling fans.
Ceiling fans and even floor and tabletop fans do a remarkable job at keeping your home cool. I have ceiling fans in several rooms in my home, and by raising the temperature on my thermostat and keeping my ceiling fans running, I saved a bundle on the amount I pay.

Cover your windows.
If you have lots of windows, you’re letting in lots of natural light–and heat. Obviously, this makes your home much warmer and causes you to turn crank up the air conditioning. Cover your windows with solar screens, which block rays from getting into your home. This is particularly effective on the east and west sides of your home (which take the brunt of the sun’s energy when it rises and sets each day).

These are just a few of many ways you can lower your cooling costs this summer. If you have any more ideas that work, share them in the comments below! a

Posted in: Home, Life Hacks, Money

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