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Keeping Cool

Article was added on Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Don't let the warmer weather turn into "summertime blues" when the monthly electric bill arrives. Here are some tips from Santee Electric Co-op on keeping your electric bill in check.

Adjust the Thermostat. As demonstrates, lowering a thermostat in the winter can save as much as $85 a year. During warmer months, raising the thermostat a few degrees can save money, too. Set the temperature between 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you could save up to 8 percent on monthly cooling bills.

Programmable thermostats make it easy to save by offering four pre-programmed settings to regulate a home's temperature throughout the year.

Be a "fan-atic". While they don't replace an air conditioner or a heat pump, fans move the air so everyone feels more comfortable.  On milder days, fans can save as much as 60 percent in electric bills. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave.  

Regular maintenance is essential. Santee Electric Co-op recommends that members have their HVAC systems serviced annually by at NATE (North American Technician Excellence)-certified technician. This HVAC professional will check the entire system to make sure it is running efficiently. This will help to extend the life of the system and save money.  

Look for ENERGY STAR equipment. When it's time to replace that cooling system, recommends replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model. This could reduce energy costs by as much as 30 percent.  Tax credits and rebates on qualifying ENERGY STAR models may be available.

Bigger isn't always better. Too often, cooling equipment isn't sized properly and could lead to higher electric bills. A unit that is too large for your home will not cool evenly and might produce higher humidity indoors.  That's why it is important to use a reputable dealer when having HVAC units changed.

Instead of getting burned this summer with high energy bills, check out Touchstone Energy's energy-saving website,, for more money-saving ideas.

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