featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Do you cringe when your electric bill arrives in the mail during the summer? Today money guru Sheila Conway shows you how to trim that expense. -- AP

Here are 7 simple tips for reducing your electric bill:

1. If you have central air, make sure you clean your filters monthly and replace them every two to three months.

2. Have ducts checked for leakage. If they’re not properly sealed and insulated, you’ll be paying more for less cooling.

3. If you work outside your home, purchase a programmable thermostat, and set it to 85 degrees during the day when no one is home. Set it as high as is comfortable when you are home.

4. If you have window units, clean the coils before operating each year and replace the filters every month.

5. Ceiling fans cost pennies to run and make the air feel six to eight degrees cooler. So you can set your AC higher. For every two degrees you push up the thermostat, you’ll save about $40 over the summer.

6. Close your blinds during the day! Keeping the sun out, keeps your rooms cooler. Use insulated curtains and blinds or go a step further and install solar film on the windows that get the most sun. They’ll keep up to 70% of the heat out of the house, block nearly all UV rays, and save you up to 30% on cooling costs.

7. Don’t use your oven! When it’s hot outside, don’t add heat to your house by using your oven for cooking. Instead, use your microwave, toaster oven, or slow cooker. Better yet, use your outdoor grille.

Great tips, Sheila! Readers, how do you keep cool without breaking the bank during the summer? -- AP


Kath said...

Good tips. Interestingly the HVAC guy told us this year that the really expensive finely pleated filters make it harder for the AC to work, and don't really do a better job of catching the dirt. So, I'm back to the cheap pleated filters.

Solar Blinds said...

Nice blog and posts also look good.