Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Deal Diva


Don’t get hot about that AC bill

By Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister is's Deal Diva, giving you loads of easy tips to save money.
COOL 1/3
TODD SUMLIN - Observer file photo

Staying cool in the summer can be expensive. Here are a few ideas to keep your electric bill under control:

• It takes three times as much energy per degree to cool a room as to heat a room. On milder days or evenings, consider opening your windows and using a window fan to circulate the air.

• Turn off power strips and electronics, including chargers, when they’re not in use. Even when electronics are in standby mode, they use electricity.

• Cook outside. It will save electricity and avoid oven and stove heat in the kitchen. When grilling, put on enough for two meals.

• Plan cold meals or use the microwave.

• Programmable thermostats will help you manage your home temperatures when nobody is home.

• Open up the dishwasher before the drying phase and allow items to air-dry.

• Install energy-efficient window treatments. They block out the sun and the heat.

• Make sure your ceiling fan is headed in the right direction: In the summer they should turn counter-clockwise at medium or high speed so the air is being pushed down.

• Examine your electricity bill to monitor your usage month to month.

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