Though discounts and deals are still out there to be had, the cost of living seems to be on an interminable rise, evidenced by prices at the pump and expensive grocery bills.
Unfortunately, this also happens to be the case for utilities. According to the Los Angeles Times, electricity prices throughout the country are increasing and show no signs of slowing. In California, for example, between 2006 and 2012, utility expenses for residents rose 30 percent, when adjusted for inflation, based on statistics collected from the U.S. Department of Energy. Furthermore, between now and 2029, energy prices could jump an additional 47 percent.
"Everywhere you turn, there are proposals and regulations to make prices go higher," Daniel Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research, told the Times. "The trend line is up, up, up."
With meteorologists expecting another hot summer for much of the country, electric bills could be costly in the coming months. However, there are a variety of ways in which you can keep things cool while saving money on energy use at the same time, as recommended by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.
1. Get planting. There are few more natural ways of cooling down than by taking advantage of Mother Nature itself. Virtually any deciduous tree, or those that have leaves rather than needles, can work wonders, provided they're positioned on a portion of the property that blocks out the sun's rays. BHG noted that based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, trees positioned around buildings reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and cut energy bills by up to 50 percent.
2. Give your air conditioner a break. When air conditioners are in direct sunlight, it forces them to work harder to cool things down. This problem can be avoided by placing portable air conditioner in an area where a tree or shrub provides shading.
3. Turn air conditioner off at night. As you might expect, the weather typically cools in the evening hours. Take advantage of this period by opening the windows and using a box fan to maintain comfortable conditions.
4. Strategically position fans around home. As you probably learned in Science class, warm air rises. This means that low portions of the home tend to be the coolest. If you have a cellar, place a fan at the basement door. This can help bring cool air aloft, thereby avoiding air conditioner use.
The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty ormaintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.
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