The utility bills tend to go up when it’s very hot outside, but AmerenUE says just a few simple steps can ease the strain … both on your cooling system and on your checkbook.
Cara Dolly is the residential energy efficiency program manager for AmerenUE. There are several tips listed on AmerenUE’s efficiency website.
She says turning the thermostat up … and leaving it up … is the first step to saving money. She recommends keeping the thermostat set at 78 degrees, or, “as high as you can stand it.” Dolly says adding a fan to that 78-degree temperature will make it feel like 73 or 74.
She says cleaning or changing air filters in cooling systems can make them run more efficiently, but if you’re in the market for a new window unit, paying a little more in the check-out line will save money in the long run if you purchase Energy Star rated products. They’re not only more efficient, so they’ll use less energy to run, but there are tax credits and rebates available as well.
I can’t say enough about Energy Star,” she says. “There’s probably 60 different products out there with the Energy Star label. And because you pay two bills — you pay the bill when you buy it and then you pay the bill every month on your utility bill — that’s a worthwhile purchase.”
She also recommends adding weather stripping to doors and windows to keep the cold air in, and drawing curtains and blinds closed during the day to keep the hot sun out. Removing humidity from the air will also keep the house cooler and more comfortable, and Dolly reminds customers that AmerenUE is offering rebates on certain dehumidifiers.