6 Things You Must Know About Home Cooling Bills

Some simple steps can help you hold down the cost of beating the heat.

(Image credit: CDELBERT)

1. Costs remain high. Despite lower overall fuel costs, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that the average residential electricity bill this summer will be $400 or more. Air-conditioning is the biggest culprit. Take some of the load off your AC with light-filtering window treatments, and replace incandescent lightbulbs with cool LEDs (about $12 to $20 for a six-pack). Using a ceiling fan instead of, or along with, your air conditioner can keep you comfortable while allowing you to raise the thermostat. Just turn the fan off when you leave the room. Fans are designed to cool people, not spaces.

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Miriam Cross
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Miriam lived in Toronto, Canada, before joining Kiplinger's Personal Finance in November 2012. Prior to that, she freelanced as a fact-checker for several Canadian publications, including Reader's Digest Canada, Style at Home and Air Canada's enRoute. She received a BA from the University of Toronto with a major in English literature and completed a certificate in Magazine and Web Publishing at Ryerson University.