COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The July heat is here and that means your energy bill has likely been going up and up, but there are some things you can do to cut down on your cooling costs.
The first thing you want to do is turn the temperature on your thermostat up. If you keep your thermostat at 74, SCE&G says generally it will cost you 44 percent more on your bill, than if you keep it at the recommended setting of 78 degrees.
Bringing the temperature up even one degree higher to 79 can save you 10 percent on your energy cost, according to SCE&G.
It is recommended to use fans in key areas of your home so that you don't have to use that big energy draw of your AC system.
When leaving for extended periods of time, bring the temperature on the thermostat up a few degrees- especially if no one else will be home or you do not have any pets.
It is not advised to turn the AC unit off, but if you bring the temperature up, you can limit the amount of time the unit turns on.
Kim Sutton with Sutton Energy Solutions also recommends some quick maintenance work.
"The minute that filter turns black, or brown, or whatever ugly color comes up, that means your unit is struggling to pull air through. That is like having cracks in your duct work," Sutton said. "It is causing that piece of equipment to work harder."
One can also check in to buying a smart thermostat. They adjust when you leave and allow you to control your temperature remotely.
Kim Sutton says sometimes "to save money, you have to spend money. Is it worth it in the long run? Yes."
She adds you should place LED light bulbs in your fixtures as they are more efficient than regular, or fluorescent lights. She also says looking at your front and back doors is very important.
"The best door on the market right now would be fiberglass, with the urethane blown in core," she said.
Looking at upgrading your insulation is another helpful tip.
Some potential quick tips include turning off lights and sealing any cracks in your home. You can also purchase a door sweep to keep cooler air in your home.