Tips for Cutting Your Utility Bill in the Summer Heat

Turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees to save money.

It's so hot outside, you've been running your air conditioning non-stop. It feels great in the house, but your electric bill is sky high. So what are some easy things to do to save on that bill?

Close the curtains and blinds.

Curtains and blinds are for more than just decoration. Close them. They'll help keep your house cool by blocking the sun from heating up your home.

Run appliances in the morning or evening.

Running your oven, dishwasher and clothes dryer in the morning or evening can save you a few bucks. All those appliances add extra heat to your home and make your air conditioner work harder.

Turn lights off and unplug electronics.

Leaving the lights on or keeping things plugged in can heat up your home and add to your bill. If you are not using it, turn it off and unplug it.

Turn the air conditioning up, but not off.

Many people will turn their air conditioners off when they aren't home. The experts we talked to said that is a bad idea. When you turn the air conditioning back on, it has to work that much harder to cool your house down again. If you have an energy saver option on your thermostat, use it instead.

Use fans.

You can turn up the thermostat a little and still feel comfortable by using fans. Whether they are ceiling, box or floor, they help make your house feel much cooler. They cost a lot less to run than the air conditioning. If you have ceiling fans, make sure yours is blowing air downward during the summer.

Don't run your pool pump non-stop.

One of the biggest electricity users are pool pumps. Experts say many people are running them more than they need to. If you can, figure out the minimum-run time required. A recent study showed pool owners in Florida who cut down their pumping time to three hours a day were still happy with their pool's water quality.

Get an System Tune Up.

Don't forget to have your air conditioning system checked every year by a qualified heating and air conditioning company to make sure its working at peak efficiency.