Heat Wave

Your A/C is Working Overtime. Here are Some Energy and Money Saving Tips

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The heat wave has many families running air conditioning non-stop, but there are steps you can take to help lower your bill.

"What families need to realize is there are strategies to save," said Andrea Woroch, money saving expert

For starters, don’t run appliances in the evening. That’s when most people are using power, so it’s more expensive.

"If you run most of your energy earlier in the day, you’re actually going to save money," she said.

More money saving tips:

  • Washing your clothes in cold water.
  • Cleaning your dryer lint tray after every cycle.
  • Hang drying clothes.
  • Do all your laundry at once

"If you continuously dry multiple loads, you’re reducing that dryer having to restart and reheat up," she said.

As for cooking, Woroch says to use an outdoor grill if you have one.

When using the dishwasher, don’t run the “dry” cycle. Let the dishes air dry.

Woroch also says you’ll save money by unplugging items when you’re not using them, like coffee pots, printers, phone charges, and even cable boxes - which she says are a big energy drain.

"They’re what a lot of experts refer to as energy vampires, because they continue to suck energy and you don’t even realize it," she said.

Woroch also suggests investing in a programmable thermostat. She says there are low-cost options out there. She says you can also set up “zone cooling," where the A/C runs in parts of your house, but not others. A cheaper way to do this is shut vents and doors to rooms that don’t need cooling.

She also said simply consider setting your A/C at a higher temperature, like 78 or 79 degrees.

"You do get used to it, right? You acclimate and then you save money," she said.

SoCalEdison customers can also sign up with OhmConnect, a Bay Area tech company. It’ll ask you to power down an hour at a time throughout the week, and it pays you for doing it. The company says users earn $15 to $45 a month.

But even using all the other tips, Woroch says you’ll see a difference.

"If you adopt several of these money saving strategies, you’re looking at saving 10% off your energy bill," she said.

Woroch also says energy efficient appliances can make a huge difference in your power bills, and she says you’ll find lots of sales over labor day weekend.

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