With temperatures soaring well into the upper 90s throughout the majority of the U.S. it's important to keep energy efficiency a priority. Here are some tips to keep cool and save money:
- Keep your doors closed – According to Energy Star, minimizing door traffic and sealing leaks around windows and doors with caulking or weather stripping can help save up to 10 percent on annual energy bills.
- Close your curtains or blinds during the day – The U.S. Department of Energy found that this quick and easy step can help reduce heat gain inside your home by 45 percent, which means your home stays cooler so your air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard.
- Install a programmable thermostat – By programming your air conditioner to adjust your home's temperature up a few degrees when you're not home, can help save up to $180 on your annual energy costs.
- Install compact fluorescent light bulbs – Replacing the bulbs in your six most-used lamps / fixtures with CFLs can save up to $30 over the lifetime of each bulb.
- Use your microwave instead of the oven – Not only will it cut down on excessive heat in the kitchen, a microwave uses 70 percent less energy than a regular electric oven.
"When temperatures are consistently high like they've been this summer, we know customers will use more energy as their air conditioners operate longer and more frequently to keep their homes cool," says Gianna Manes, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief customer officer. "Taking control of your energy usage can be easy, so it's important that customers understand how making a few simple changes can make a difference in their monthly energy costs."