MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - In the scorching heat that has been shattering records across the Carolinas, many residents are feeling the pain of an increased utility bill. While your bill peaks during the height of summer, making some small changes can inch your energy usage down.
Set your thermostat to 76° or higher in the summer
Decreasing your thermostat below this temperature is estimated to increase your bill up to 5 percent.
Close curtains and shades during summer days
Reducing the amount of heat entering your home diminishes the energy needed to cool it. An additional tip is to buy blackout blinds and/or curtains that block out sunlight.
Do "Heat" activities during the coolest parts of the day
It is advised to wash, bathe and cook during early morning hours or at night. Using appliances that give off heat during the hottest times of the day will make your air conditioner work harder.
Beware of Phantom Power
Electronics draw energy even in the off or standby position. Unplugging them or connecting them to a power strip that can be turned off when not in use is estimated to save you $100 a year.
Use ceiling fans to supplement air conditioning
Set your fan's blade to run counter clockwise. This will blow cool air down giving you the illusion of being cooler than you are.
Cover pots and pans with tight-fitting lids
Food will cook faster from trapped steam, saving you energy.
Turn off the oven 10 to 15 minutes before cooking time runs out
Food will continue to cook without the extra energy.
Keep your refrigerator full
The contents of a full refrigerator will retain the cold better than air when you open the door to remove food.
Remember to use the kitchen exhaust fan when cooking
This will draw any steam or heat out of the home.
If you are heating water, use hot tap water instead of cold
Using hot water diminishes the time your burner stays on.
Let hot food cool before storing it in the refrigerator
Chilling warm food requires more energy.
Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every laundry load
A blocked filter leads to more drying time.
Dry clothes in consecutive loads
The dryer will retain the heat of previous loads.