NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - People working to keep homes cool without running up electric bills more than necessary can follow suggestions from Entergy. In addition to taking note of the suggestions listed below, Entergy representatives suggest you visit their website for a variety of energy-saving tips.
•Get your A/C inspected. Inspectors can make sure your system is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible. Don't forget about air filters; some units require monthly cleaning or replacing.
•Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree lower than 78 can raise your bill as much as 3 percent. So if you crank down the A/C to a cooler 72 degrees, you've already increased your bill by 18 percent.
•Buy a programmable thermostat. As energy usage rises, costs also rise. If you spend most of your day outside of the house, set your thermostat to automatically shut off or raise the A/C setting when you're away.
•Use fans to cool off, but remember – fans cool people, not rooms. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity and circulate the air, which helps you feel several degrees cooler. Just remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
•Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep the sun out and the cool air in. Also, close air conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
•Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and duct work. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air inside the house and the hot air outdoors.