By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As our warm weather continues, people are trying to keep cool any way they can. For many, that means cranking up their air conditioners way beyond what is really necessary. 3 On Your Side has some advice on how to beat the heat, but not end up with a huge electric bill in the end.

When the temperature rises outside, so can the amount of energy you use inside. But there are some ways to keep costs under control.

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The Department of Energy recommends keeping your thermostat set at around 78 degrees when you’re at home in the summer. A smaller difference between the indoor temperature and the heat outdoors will lead to less energy spent and a lower energy bill.

Keep it a bit warmer inside when you leave, and when you arrive back home, avoid the temptation to cool the house down quickly. Lowering the thermostat to a very chilly setting doesn’t cool the room any faster and will only result in unnecessary expenses.

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Jim Donovan reports…

Keep lamps, TV sets and other appliances away from thermostats if possible. They can absorb heat and make the air conditioner run longer than necessary. Avoid unnecessary heat buildup indoors by cutting your use of appliances that generate a lot of heat.

By the way, if you’re heading out of town for more than a day or two, don’t forget to lower the setting on your water heater. Your water heater can account for as much as 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home—no need to heat up water when no one will be at home to use it.

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS3

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