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(BPT) - There's a lot to love about summer. At the same time, the season can run up your electric bill fast, especially for Americans living in places where summer temperatures are reaching record highs. According to recent reports, states like Washington and Oregon have seen recording-breaking temperatures this summer — just recently, Salem, Oregon, reached 117 degrees and Seattle reached 106 degrees.
Even if things are heating up in your area, there are many ways to keep your body temperature and electric bill down this summer.
Here are a few things you can do:
1) Spend more time outdoors
If the weather isn't dangerously hot, spending time outdoors can be a great way to enjoy your summer. Plus, the more time you spend outdoors, the less time you spend using electricity in your home, even if you have the AC running. There are plenty of outdoor activities you and your loved ones can do this summer that won't cause your electric bill to skyrocket, like:
Automate your thermostat
Your thermostat is probably the biggest energy sucker in your home. Yes, having it on is crucial for keeping your home cool, but you're likely not home all day, every day.
With its energy-saving capabilities, the Google Nest Thermostat is the ideal thermostat for your home. Its easy installation and auto temperature-adjusting capabilities mean you can save more on your electric bill every month. It can turn itself down when you leave the house, so you don't waste energy cooling an empty home. And with its Savings Finder feature, it looks for ways to help you save even more.
Plus, you can control the temperature in your home from almost anywhere by using Google Home app.
Use electricity during off-peak hours
The time of day you use electricity can also affect your electric bill. Energy companies tend to charge more during what they call "peak hours," where demand for electricity is highest. These peak hours are typically early in the morning or late at night. However, those peak hours have changed as more people are working remotely. Reducing the amount of electricity use during peak hours when reasonable can lessen the load on the power grid and save you some money every month.
Turn down your lights
Alongside your AC, your lights can increase your electric bill too. In the summer months this is an easy fix, with early sunrises and late sunsets, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to let in a little extra light without using electricity.
However, there can be cloudy skies and rainy days during the summer when the lights in your home can be necessary. The Lutron Maestro Dimmer can automatically turn lights on and off when you enter or leave a room. It's a simple, easy and low-cost way to save energy and add light automation to your home. It can automatically adjust to a favorite dimmed level when you walk in, then turn the lights off when you leave.
Use your fan instead of your AC
A room fan can provide an affordable alternative to your AC. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it costs about 36 cents an hour to run your AC; it costs about a penny an hour to run a ceiling fan. So as long as you run your fan responsibly with other energy-saving strategies, it can help reduce your electric bill.
With its dimmable LED lighting and versatile color temperatures, the Hampton Bay Mena Ceiling Fan uses the perfect combination of technology and energy-saving resources to help you lower your electric bill. It is EnergyStar rated and is 50% faster to install than your traditional fan. Plus, the fan is damp rated and can be used on porches or patios too.
You can find more energy-saving products like this at your local Home Depot store.