Tips for saving money during summer months

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Sun and sand, amusement parks, road trips and good times are all summer hallmarks.

But as temperatures climb, so do household bills, putting a damper on the fun.

“Summer can be expensive, especially in hot climates where energy use skyrockets,” said Michael Sullivan, a personal finance consultant with Take Charge America, a national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency.

“With a few simple changes to your routine, you can stop worrying about high energy bills and enjoy your summer.”

Sullivan offers cool tips to save money in the hot summer months:

Air Conditioning

  • Program your thermostat to ensure maximum efficiency on your AC. Set it higher than normal during summer and consider increasing it further when you’re away at work or on vacation.
  • Move lamps or TV sets away from the thermostat. It senses heat from these appliances and may trigger your AC to run longer than necessary.
  • Use ceiling fans, window units or area fans to keep your home breezy.
  • Draw the blinds during the day, especially on the sunny side of your house.
  • Clean your filters and consider an AC audit to ensure your unit is operating efficiently.
  • Keep air vents clear of obstructions. 
  • Shut windows during hot days but open them on cool nights to allow air to circulate. In the morning, close them again to trap the cool air from the previous night. 
  • If you’re planning to spend the evening in one part of the house, shut doors to avoid cooling other rooms.

Cooking

  • Skip the oven, which heats up your house and requires your AC to work harder. 
  • Plan no-cook meals – like salads and sandwiches – to save energy.
  • Run the dishwasher when it’s full – a half-empty machine uses the same amount of water and power – and skip the drying function.
  • Clean your freezer coils to help your freezer run efficiently and check the gaskets to ensure it isn’t leaking air. 

Laundry

  • Wash clothes in cold water, and only do full loads.
  • Hang your laundry to save on energy.
  • If you must use the dryer, do back-to-back loads since your machine is already warm.

Power

  • Enroll in your power company’s peak hours program and save energy-sucking chores for off-peak hours.
  • Unplug devices that aren’t in use. Chargers, cable boxes and toasters can drain power even when they’re “off.”
  • Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees and consider insulating your water tank to reduce standby heat losses.
  • Use the bathroom ventilating fan when you take a shower to suck away heat and humidity.
  • Seal cracks and or add weather-stripping around leaky doors and windows.

For more tips or information about budgeting, credit counseling, debt relief or student loans, visit takechargeamerica.org or call (866) 528-0588. 

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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