Keeping Cool Without Breaking the Bank

With the heat of the summer in full force this week, many of us have turned up the air conditioning to make the temperatures more tolerable. But if you’re cringing at the thought of your next electric bill as a result of these high temperatures, there are a few simple, no-cost, things you can do to help keep your energy consumption in check.

1. Keep southerly facing window blinds closed throughout the day, and alternate closing the eastern window blinds in the morning and western window blinds in the evening. This simple activity will keep the summer sun from heating up the house and by alternating which ones are open and closed, you still get to enjoy the indirect light in the rest of the house.

2. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees, or the highest temperature you can comfortably choose. Ceiling fans are a low-cost way to allow you to bump up the thermostat a few degrees since they are less expensive to operate than the air conditioner. Word to the wise, the fans are only useful to create a “wind chill effect” on your skin and aren’t actually cooling the room. So when you leave the room, turn off the fan.

3. If you haven’t changed the air filter on your air conditioner, now would be a great time to do so. We still have quite a few weeks of hot weather ahead of us and a clean air filter allows the air conditioner to run more efficiently.

4. Try to avoid using heat-generating appliances during the day, such as the dishwasher, stove, oven, or dryer. If you can, run them in the evening or overnight when it is cooler.

For more tips on how to lower your energy consumption, you can visit ComEd, and if you’re heading out to the beautiful Chicago area beaches or pools, here are a few tips to keep you and the kids safe in the summer sun.

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