Summer Electricity BillsIn Utah, most people have two enormous utility bills. In the winter, it's the gas bill for heat and, in the summer, it's the electric bill for the central air conditioning.

I am not sure which bill is worse, but I can tell you that I'd much rather be cold (within reason) than hot. If you are cold, you can throw on a sweater or blanket. If you are hot, there is only so far you can strip down. Then, you are still just really hot.

The few times we've endured days with nonworking air conditioners, I quickly learned I can't even function when I'm really hot. I just fall asleep on the couch like a limp rag.

So, no matter the cost, you can count on me to cranking up the air conditioner when there is only a hint of summer in the air.

That said, no one wants to be stupid or throw money down the drain (or out the vents). While we all want to be comfortable, we can find ways to lower our bills. Our local electric company has a slogan: If you conserve, you can save.

Here are a few easy ways to conserve:

  • Have your HVAC inspected once a year by a certified technician.
  • Clean your air filters monthly.
  • Program your thermostat to let your home heat up a bit when you are away at work or on vacation.
  • Add caulk and weather-stripping to keep cooled are inside.
  • Insulate!
  • Use fans in every room possible. They don't actually cool the air, but moving air feels cooler.
  • Close curtains or blinds to block sunlight.
  • Use energy efficient light-bulbs and appliances.
  • Compare electricity prices month-to-month and year-to-year. Determine what usage habits many be affecting your bill.

Keeping cool in the summer doesn't have to break the bank. Be wise in your usage and educate yourself on ways to save and conserve and you can enjoy the summer weather.