Who else is feeling the heat this summer? And we don't just mean the high temperatures outside.

With the hot weather that will be taking over New York State this week, we can expect to crank up the air conditioning to full blast. Of course, we all know what inevitably happens next. When the A/C gets turned up, the bank account balance goes down.

Why are utility bills so high during the summer?

The long and the short of it is the less electricity you use, the smaller your utility bills will be - plain and simple. Obviously, that's easier said than done when it’s not 90 degrees outside and you need your air conditioner cranked up to full blast just to keep from heat stroke. So how can you keep your cool these hot summer months without sweating it out with your utility bills? 

Tips to keep your utility bills low this summer

The New York State Department of Public Service has provided some simple tips on how to conserve electricity this summer, keeping your bills down while still keeping the temperature cool. 

1. Use your major home appliances (like your dishwasher, washing machines, and dryers) early or late in the day (these are “off-peak” hours, and electricity is cheaper during these times).

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2. Turn off your air conditioner when you leave home; set the thermostat at 78 degrees, or run it on "low."

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3. Use an electric fan to bring in the cool air from outside during the morning and evening (because fans use way less electricity than air conditioners). 

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4. Close your curtains and/or blinds during the day to block out the heat from the sunlight.

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5. Use a programmable thermostat on your air conditioning and a timer on your pool filter.

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6. Replace old lightbulbs with LED bulbs. 

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7. Look for the EnergyStar symbol if you’re shopping for a new air conditioning unit or other major appliance.

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Some other ideas on how to save on utilities during this hot New York summer?

8. Keep the filter in your A/C clean. Vacuum it out once a week to have it work more efficiently and be safer to run.

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9. If your home has an HVAC system, learn how to ”supercool” your home to keep it comfy while reducing energy consumption. Lifehacker has a tutorial on how to do this here

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10. Did you know by planting shrubs and trees outside of your house (specifically on the south and west sides or over your outdoor A/C unit), you can make your cooling systems up to 10 percent more efficient? 

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11. Keep the cool air in and the hot air out by sealing cracks, and closing doors and vents.

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Stay cool, Buffalo!

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