BOSTON (CBS) – The following is a list from the Edison Electric Institute with a couple of my suggestions as well for simple no-cost tips for keeping cool and saving money this summer.

Set the AC to 78 degrees or higher when the house is occupied, and at 85 degrees when no one’s home. You’ll save 1-2 percent on cooling costs for each degree you can raise your thermostat.  My husband prefers it to be a bit cooler than 78 so we compromise on 76 when he’s home.

And if the air filter hasn’t been cleaned in over 30 days, then it may be time to do so.

Keep the curtains or shades closed on any south or west-facing windows which can save 2-4 percent on cooling costs. Follow the sun around and keep it out.

Leave the windows open on cool nights and turn off the AC. You will be in essence capturing the cool air and won’t need to turn on the AC until the next afternoon.

If available, turn on ceiling and table fans, a fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees and still feel cool.  For ceiling fans, make sure they are turning in a counterclockwise direction, you should feel a cool breeze standing directly under the fan. And only use the fan while you’re in the room for they cool people not places. I did not know that.

For unused rooms, shut the door and close any air supply vents inside them which can save up to 3 percent on cooling costs.

Cook with the microwave oven, your toaster oven or outdoor grill instead of the regular oven. Keeps the kitchen cooler and saves on cooking costs.

Install LEDs or compact fluorescent lights in high-use fixtures which can save about 70% on lighting cost per fixture. Turn off any lights that aren’t being used and dim those that are, if possible.

Wash/dry full loads of clothes in cold water when possible and run that dishwasher full.


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