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Over the past several years, many areas of the U.S. have experienced scorching hot days in the summer. To avoid skyrocketing electric bills, try these five energy-zapping habits this summer.

1. Check Your Air Conditioning
The first step in decreasing your electricity bill is to have your air conditioning system checked. Having your system serviced every spring by a professional HVAC technician ensures your system runs optimally and efficiently. Neglecting preventative maintenance leads to poor performance, unnecessary energy use, and higher expenses when the system breaks down.

2. Invest In a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
If your home still has a conventional thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable or a smart thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow you to set your air conditioning to turn on at times it’s needed, avoiding wasteful energy use when no one is home. A smart thermostat gives you even more control because it learns your cooling habits and automatically adjusts. However, you can even control your air conditioning levels from your phone. A bonus to this is you can use the same habits come winter with a new thermostat, saving energy all year.

3. Strategically Use Fans
To reduce air conditioning kicking on more than it needs to, strategically use fans in rooms you’re using at the time to help A/C efficiency by moving cool air around. Fans enable you to increase your thermostat four degrees without feeling any hotter, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Just remember—make sure ceiling fans are running counterclockwise in the summer and don’t leave them running in empty rooms.

4. Block Out the Sun
Sunlight streaming through windows is beautiful, but in the summer heat, it can be brutal, especially for south and west-facing windows. According to statistics, 75% of people leave their window coverings in the same position all day. If this sounds familiar to you, try to switch up your habits. If you don’t already have them, install sunblocking shades, blinds, drapes, or curtains and close them during the hottest parts of the day. You’d be surprised how much of the sun’s heat you block out by this simple habit change.

5. Avoid the Oven
Making meals with a conventional oven generates extra heat in the house which, in turn, forces your A/C to work harder and generate more energy. Instead of using the oven for meals during the summer months, try experimenting with recipes that can be used for slow cookers, air fryers, pressure cookers, or even your outdoor grill. (After all, who doesn’t love a good barbeque!) This change in routine can go a long way towards lessening air conditioning use.

Try these 5 energy-zapping tips and watch your energy bill decrease.

Contact Reed Electric, Heating & Air Today
If you’re looking for an Electrical/HVAC professional to examine your system or perform preventative maintenance, contact Reed Electric, Heating & Air. We’re happy to answer any questions. Our experts have been servicing Paducah, KY, Metropolis, IL and surrounding areas since 2004.