Cleveland heat wave: As temperatures rise, here are tips to keep home cooling bills down

As summer temperatures begin to rise, so does the possibility of climbing utility bills.

To battle increasing costs while trying to stay cool at home, the United States Department of Energy offers a few simple solutions to stay comfortable, and not broke, this summer.

The best strategy to save money during the most recent heat wave simply involves turning up the temp by 10 to 15 degrees when no one is home, and setting it to a comfortable 78 degrees at night, the department states. The best way to do this, energy.gov suggests, is by purchasing and installing a programmable thermostat.

National studies state this approach can save as much as 5 to 15 percent on monthly energy bills.

Additional, energy.gov tips on how to keep a house cool in the summer include:

  • Moving lamps or TV sets away from room air-conditioning thermostat. Those devices can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary because the thermostat senses heat from the appliances. Set them apart and save energy.
  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Traditional incandescent bulbs are highly inefficient in that only about 10 to 15 percent of electricity consumed is used to produce light. A majority of that energy is turned into heat. Plus, CFLs last longer.
  • Plan for the long haul if you own a home and landscape. "Properly placed trees around the house can save between $100 and $250 annually," the energy department states.
  • Use a ceiling fan. Use of a ceiling fan will allow a person to raise their thermostat setting by about 4 degrees without a reduction in cooling comfort. Turn the fan off when you leave a room.

For more tips visit energy.gov .

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