Keeping your home cool, bills low in summer heat

Keeping your home cool, bills low in summer heat

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After coming inside from the Mississippi heat, it can be tempting to crank the air conditioner temperature way down for a quick cool off.

But Pearl River Valley Electrical Power Association's Kurt Brautigam said that is not the best practice, if you want to keep your electricity bill from spiking in the summer.

"Your electric bill, of course, is driven by usage," explained Brautigam.

PRVEPA suggests keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees, whether you're at home or out-and-about. Brautigam said using ceiling fans will keep a home cool enough to remain comfortable, without switching the thermostat throughout the day and night.

"If a home is well insulated, a lot of folks can probably bump their thermostat up during the day when they're not there and be able to cool it down a little bit quickly and have it stay cool once they get home from work or whatever their schedule might be," he said.

Brautigam urges folks to make sure holes are sealed, even the smaller ones, which can stop cool air from remaining inside the home. He also suggests a good seal on doors, to make sure the heat stays outside.

In addition make sure your air conditioner gets a proper check-up, if not once a year, then every other year, according to Brautigam.

"It's worth having someone come out and maintain it," he said, "otherwise, it will just have to work harder and use more electricity."

Another simple tip? Keep your blinds closed during the day, especially on the southern and western sides of the home. And don't forget to change your air filter as needed, which will be different for each home and system, especially if there are pets inside.

For more energy-saving tips in the summer, click here.