Easy ways to keep your power bill down during the summer

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News 12 First at Five/ July 2, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Your power bill may be feeling the heat this summer, but the experts gave us some tips to help cool it down.

Monitoring the temperature in your house is just the beginning.

With energy services at Georgia Power says anytime your thermostat drops below 78 degrees, it's going to cost you about 3-5 percent more on the power usage, Jack Dogan said.

When you're out of the home, remember to raise your thermostat. Dogan says the air conditioning should never be turned off completely because you'll be paying a lot of money when you eventually turn it back on. To keep air circulating throughout your house, keep the fans set to summer mode. The fan should be blowing air down, rather than up.

Experts also suggest changing the air filter regularly.

"Check or change the filter once a month...the reason is because a dirty filter makes the unit work harder," Dogan said.

Also, take a look at where your HVAC unit is.

"You want to make sure there aren't bushes around the system, its just sitting there alone," Dogan said.

He says leaves and twigs can get into the system and burn out the coils.

Another big way to cut down on energy costs is to make sure your water heater is set to 120 degrees. Your water heater affects about 19% of your power bill, which can translate to big savings. Dogan recommends washing clothes with cold water. He also says it's best to do the laundry early morning or late at night.

"By washing midday, it's going to create more heat, and make the house hotter. By doing that, your air conditioning is going to run more," he says.

Last but not least, make sure to keep your blinds and shades drawn during the summer months. "Once you open them, it allows sun to come in, so it will make the air hotter and makes the air run more."

There are several other things you can do in and around your home to cut down on costs, whether you rent or own. Make sure all your vents are open, swap to LED bulbs, keep pots and pans covered when you cook, and the list goes on.

This link will take you to hundreds of energy savings ideas.

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