Given that 13% of a home’s total energy costs go towards cooling, WRAL’s 5 on Your Side and Consumer Reports have some simple steps to cut utility costs without sacrificing the comforts of home.
Especially during the hot and humid North Carolina summertime, nothing beats the relief of cranking the A/C. To take some heat off your electric bill, adjust thermostat settings and consider investing in a smart thermostat.
“A programmable or smart thermostat can actually lower cooling and heating bills by as much as 10% a year. Most smart thermostats use WiFi and allow you to control your central air and heat with your smartphone,” says Dan Wroclawski with Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports recommends a Honeywell Home T9 Thermostat, which includes a sensor to measure temperature and humidity.
Simple changes make a big difference
- Plug cracks around windows and doors.
- Repair any leaky AC ductwork to make sure your cool air isn’t leaking out.
- Turn on a fan.
- Try not to use your oven! Along with using energy, it also heats up the kitchen. If you really need to bake, try to use a CR top-rated toaster oven or air fryer. They’re an affordable, money-saving option and heat up more quickly.
- Even better, get outside and grill!
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- What the ‘use by’ date can tell you about safely storing your food
“Ceiling fans not only cost very little to run, but when used with your air conditioning, you can actually raise your thermostat by about four degrees and feel just as cool,” says Wroclawski.
July is generally the hottest month of the year in North Carolina, so your bill will increase – making it even more important to make some of these cool, cost-saving changes.