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10 Ways to Save on Summer Energy Bills

 10 Ways to Save on Summer Energy Bills

1. Install a programmable thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy says you can save up to $150 a year on heating and cooling bills if you do—and if you program the thermostat properly. Some homeowners who buy programmable thermostats continue to manually adjust the temperature instead of setting the device to automatically raise and lower the temperature for maximum savings.

2. Raise your air conditioner’s temperature to 78 degrees. If you usually leave it at 72 degrees, you could save up to 18 percent on your cooling bill.

3. Turn off your computer. You could save $75 a year if you shut it down when you’re not using it. A tip: Plug your computer, printer and scanner into a power strip or surge protector and shut the whole thing down when you’re finished using it for the day.

4. Don’t use your oven. Especially when the weather is really warm, prepare unheated meals instead, or heat your food in a microwave or toaster oven.

5. Lower your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees. The DOE estimates that heating water accounts for up to 25 percent of the energy your home consumes.

6. Use ceiling fans. But turn them on only while you’re in the room. A fan circulates the air so you feel cooler, but it doesn’t actually cool the room. So leaving a fan on in an empty room is a waste of electricity.

7. Plant trees around your house to shade windows from the sun and to block wind from blowing into the house through cracks and crevices.

8. Replace all incandescent and CFL lightbulbs in your house with LEDs. These modern lightbulbs are more energy efficient because more of the electricity they consume is used for light rather than heat.

9. Move your lamps and TV away from the thermostat. The heat they emit can trick the thermostat into working overtime to cool your home.

10. Wash only full loads of laundry and wash clothes in cold water to save as much as $63 a year.