Save money, stay cool with energy-saving tips

Save money, stay cool with energy-saving tips

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - With the hot summer temperatures come high energy bills. FOX 8 checked with some experts to find out how you can keep yours in budget. Showers and storms are nature's way of cooling the air, but most of us are addicted to air conditioning.

"The first thing they need to know is that the A/C usage and the hot water usage is about 75 to 80% of their bill," said Toni Green-Brown, manager of public affairs with Entergy New Orleans. "If it's at 70 degrees they've added 24% to their bill."

In an effort to conserve energy and help customers manage their bills, Entergy New Orleans and Entergy Louisiana offer online education and home maintenance coupons and rebates with their Energy Smart program in Orleans Parish and Energy Solutions elsewhere.

"There are A/C tune ups with rebates associated with those so there may or may not be a fee with those," Green-Brown said.

With the cooling bill such a major factor, keeping your unit in top shape is important.

"I think one of the biggest things people miss are simple things," said  Cirro Pennino with Trinity Electric.

Keeping the outside unit free of debris can be a challenge.

"Most people assume that you could just throw some water on it and clean it, but we actually take the top off, take the unit apart," Pennino said. "Simple things like a hard start kit or a capacitor will really extend the life of your compressor."

You can make a difference inside, too. Entergy suggests keeping the thermostat set at 78.

"Another thing too that's crucially important with this thermostat is the sealing behind it," Pennino said.

Try to keep it away from doors and windows so you get an accurate reading. Clean filters and inner coils are also important.

"Our goal is to always look and see if that coil is clean. Often, I take a picture of that coil and I show my customers, this is what you are breathing," he said.

A little maintenance will help keep you and your wallet a little more comfortable.

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