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The hottest months of the year have arrived, meaning heavy use of air conditioners and higher electric bills.
But there are ways to cut down on monthly power bills, such as checking for air leaks around the house and preventing sunlight from getting inside.
For example, 40 percent of unwanted heat in a house is the result of sunlight from open windows, making air conditioners work two to three times as hard, according to a news release from the utility.
Another way to save money is to raise the thermostat to the highest comfortable temperature — Dominion and the U.S. Department of Energy recommend 78 degrees as a good spot.
Unplugging unused electronics and turning off anything not in use also yields savings. Ceiling fans don’t cool areas off but rather cool people off, so there is no benefit to leaving one on when the room is empty.
Other ways to save on monthly power bills include:
- Checking for air leaks in walls, doors, windows and other openings. These leaks allow cold air to escape during the summer.
- Setting the water heater to 120 degrees and ensuring the heater and nearby pipes are insulated.
- Replacing air conditioner filters monthly.
- Closing the fireplace flue when it is not in use.
- Using an outdoor grill instead of the kitchen during hot months.
- Installing reflective blinds to block more sunlight from getting inside.
- Using LED light bulbs on outdoor fixtures, as they last longer and use less energy.
- Using a programmable thermostat to automatically turn up the temperature when the house is empty.