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Temps rising? Your bill doesn't have to

That's a great question. Thanks for asking.

Q: What are the best ways to control energy costs while staying cool this summer?

A. Cooling costs can drive up your energy bill in summer. We want to help you stay comfortable and save energy. Start with these 6 steps to take control:

1. Set it higher for lower costs

Set your cooling to 75 degrees rather than 70 degrees. For the average residential customer, this saves about $13 a month. You can also save 5 to 15 percent on cooling costs by raising the temperature on your thermostat at bedtime or when you’re away for more than a few hours.1 If you’re gone for more than a day, go ahead and turn it off for even more savings.

2. Improve cooling efficiency

If you have central air conditioning or a heat pump, remember regular filter changes and tune-ups to keep it running efficiently.

3. Bring in cool air

Running a portable window fan instead of the AC at night can save an average home about $32 a month.

4. Create shade

Close window coverings to block the sun. You house will stay cooler, so your AC won’t have to work as hard.

5. Switch to cooler LEDs

LED light bulbs don’t give off heat like incandescent bulbs, and they use up to 85 percent less energy.2

6. Window AC unit? Size it right

When buying a unit, check the box and make sure it’s the right size for the square footage of your room or home. If it’s too large, it won’t work as well, and you’ll pay for cooling you don’t need.

See Seasonal Savings for more tips on how to save energy during hot weather.

1Source: Department of Energy