CONSUMER WATCH: Smart Summer Energy Tips

When summer temperatures rise, cranking up the air condititioning seems like a great idea - until the energy bill arrives.

Looking for sneaky energy-sucking culprits in the kitchen, the bathroom, living room, and elsewhere can help trim that bill, without making you sweat.

On days when the mercury soars, the Department of Energy suggests using ceiling fans which can help you raise the thermostat a few degrees.  

Also plan a meal that doesn't involve the oven, which can heat up the home and make the air conditioner work harder. Try grilling outdoors, or if using the stovetop, ventilate to suck hot air out of the kitchen.

Home appliances create extra heat when they run - so only run the dishwasher when it's full, and think about air drying dishes instead of using the heated dry option.

In the bathroom, showers and baths can also cause excess heat and humidity in the home, so use a fan to remove it.

And look around the home for devices that generate a lot of heat, like lamps, computers, televisions, and washers and dryers. These should be kept away from thermostats when possible, to avoid tricking it into pumping more cool air into a room than necessary.

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