Just look at a thermometer and one thing is quickly made clear: summer is definitely here. Temperatures are soaring, and that rise in the heat usually means a rise in electrical bills as well. There is a simple way to combat that, though.

Air conditioning is typically the biggest user of electricity in any home, accounting for more than 50 percent of a residential household’s usage. That’s a lot of power being used! When temperatures soar, an air conditioner will end up getting used a lot more unless adjustments are made. The main adjustment to reduce energy use is through the thermostat.

If you keep your thermostat at one temperature all the time, the use will go up as it gets warmer because the air conditioner will have to work that much harder to bring a home to the temperature. But do you need your home to stay at that temperature even when you’re away? Before leaving for work, remember to move the thermostat up a few degrees. That will reduce the number of times the air conditioner is engaged; therefore, reducing the amount of energy used. Doing this is really easy with a programmable thermostat. You can set the thermostat to get warmer after you leave, and then set it again to switch on shortly before you get home from work.

A good recommendation would be to set your thermostat to 78 when you’re home and use fans to circulate air. When you’re away, move the thermostat to 80. Program it to cool the house back down to 78 about an hour before you intend to return home.

It’s an easy way to reduce your energy use and lower your bill, and it’s something that businesses and residents alike can do to reduce the load on the electrical grid. Keep an eye out for more energy-saving tips.

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