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Tips to beating the heat of high power bills

JACKSON — The calendar may say there is still some time before the official start of summer, but the weather is changing quickly.

Now is the time to prepare for sizzling temps and the impact they can have on your energy bill.

In a release Thursday, Entergy offered steps that can help you save energy and money without sacrificing comfort:

  • Get your air conditioner inspected to 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. If you crank down the air conditioner to a cooler 72 degrees, you’ve already increased your bill by 18 percent.

  • Buy a programmable thermostat. As energy use rises, costs also rise.
  • Use fans to cool off, but remember – fans cool people, not rooms. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity to circulate the air, which helps you feel several degrees cooler. To save more energy, be sure 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 in and the hot air out.

Entergy also encouraged customers to visit entergy.com/savemoney to access a variety of energy-saving tips and calculators that can help determine the best cost-cutting scenarios.

For customers struggling to pay their summer energy bills, Entergy helps low-income, disabled and elderly customers through its customer-assistance fund, The Power to Care, which is funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders, and administered by The Salvation Army.