BEAT THE HEAT: How to save money on your utility bill this summer

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The summer heat is in full swing, so you might be using your air conditioner more often and bracing for a pricey utility bill.

But there are a few ways to lower those costs.

“When you think of summer, it comes down to your air conditioning unit,” said Chelsea Adcock of Southwestern Electric Power Company.

The simplest changes could make a big difference with your electric bill, starting with your HVAC system.

“Just having someone come check out your system. Because it’s amazing, sometimes it’s a simple as vacuuming out your outdoor component,” Adcock said.

“Particularly in Northwest Louisiana, we have a lot of pine trees – the pine straw that gets in it impacts how well your system operates.”

“Using your blinds and curtains to your advantage, so when you’re at work making sure they’re all closed and blocking out that light and the heat that comes with it. If it’s possible, wait and run your dishwasher and your washer and dryer and cooler times of the day.”

Make sure to inspect your home for any holes or cracks that might be letting in outside air.

“If you’re a big DIY person, and don’t mind going to your local Lowe’s or Home Depot, they’ve got weather strips that you can put around your doors,” Adcock said.

“People sell little foam inserts that can go underneath your doors to help block that air leakage and you can buy caulk and caulk around your windows to seal up.”

You could also try programming your thermostat to fit your schedule

“If you’ve got a programmable or smart thermostat – and if you don’t have pets at home – bump that temperature up when you’re away, so when you’re in the office, it doesn’t need to be 72° in your house. Maybe it could be 74° to 76°. The Department of Energy recommends 78°.”

SWEPCO offers a $75 rebate for smart thermostats. You can find out more information on the SWEPCO website.

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