By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Every summer we hear the same advice. If you want to save on your energy bill, turn up the thermostat, but as 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan reminds us, there are other ways trim costs and save energy.
When summer temperatures rise, cranking up the air conditioning seems like a great idea – until the energy bill arrives.
On days when the mercury soars, the Department of Energy suggests using ceiling fans to circulate air.
Plan meals that don’t involve the oven, which can heat up the home and make the air conditioner work harder. Instead try grilling outdoors, or if using the stovetop, use a fan to ventilate hot air out of the kitchen.
Home appliances create extra heat when they run. So only run the dishwasher when it’s full and think about air drying dishes instead of using the heated dry option.
In the bathroom, showers and baths can also cause excess heat and humidity in the home, so use a fan to remove it.
And look around the home for devices that generate a lot of heat, like lamps, computers, televisions, and washers and dryers.
These should be kept away from thermostats when possible, to avoid tricking it into pumping more cool air into a room than necessary.
If you have central air, be sure to replace the filters on a regular basis. Dirty filters will have your central air unit working harder than it needs to which leads to higher electric bills.