Trying to stay cool?

Here are some ideas to keep your house and yourself cool:

If your area cools off in the evening, take advantage of the cool evenings to cool off your entire house. Open windows and doors with screens to bring the inside temperature down.
Consider using a whole-house fan. It is a "natural evening air conditioner." In the morning, close up your house and draw blinds and drapes so the house stays darker and thus cooler.
If you have venetian blinds, close them or angle them upwards. That way, light is reflected up and into the room and direct rays of the sun are not let in.  Set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and 85 degrees when you are away. For the infirm, elderly, and those who have trouble maintaining body temperatures (such as diabetics), set your thermostat lower (72 to 75 degrees) when you are home.  If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.  Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.  When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation.

Vampire power, also known as standby power and phantom load. You can also find it referred to as vampire energy, leaking energy, wall warts, standby loss, idle current, phantom power, ghost load and vampire load.  The terms refers to the electricity many gadgets and appliances waste just by being plugged in (even if they're switched off). After all, what do you think your cell-phone charger does all day while it's plugged into the wall? If it's warm when you get home from work, then it's been using electricity -- even if it had nothing to charge.ere.

Brrrr! It’s getting cold out there!

We’ve already had a sneak peek of winter, leading us to pull the sweaters out of the closet and turn on the heat in our homes. While we want to feel cozy when the temperature dips, heating our homes in cold weather months can result in rising electricity bills.

Before winter hits, here are some facts to keep in mind:

Holiday lighting, oven use, and additional guests can all increase the amount of electricity consumed by a household.

Make sure you understand how your thermostat works – we mean really understand it.

But what can I do to take control of my electricity use in the winter?

Stop Leaks: Caulk or weather strip doors and windows. A gap of just one-quarter inch can let in as much air as a softball-size hole. Also, an easy way to make sure your doors are sealed as tightly as possible is by locking them at all times.  Unplug all appliances and chargers when not in use. Have your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) units serviced at least every other year.  Replace air filters every month.  Install a programmable thermostat to save energy while you are away from home. Try setting your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower in the winter.  Set your water heater to 120 degrees and make sure it is well-insulated.  Set your refrigerator temperature between 30 degrees and 42 degrees and your freezer between 0 degrees and 5 degrees. Keep your refrigerator full to reduce the amount of cold air lost each time you open the door.  Often, just adjusting your thermostat down a couple of degrees will make a big difference.

Tips and tricks to saving money on your electricity