That's why some Arkansans dread getting the electric bill in the mail since they know it will be higher than normal.
But an Arkansas group says beating the heat and saving money can go hand-in-hand.
Energy Efficiency Arkansas, a partnership among the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's Energy Office and Arkansas's investor-owned electric and gas utilities and electric cooperatives, has consulted with leading energy experts to identify practical, cost-effective ways to stay cool while using less energy.
"There are many ways Arkansans could actually save money during the hottest months of the year," says Scott Hamilton, director of the Arkansas Energy Office. "Closing the shades and turning off heat-generating sources when you're not using them are just a couple ways to keep your home cool and money in your pocket."
Energy Efficiency Arkansas has compiled hundreds of recommendations and tips, ranging from no-cost reminders to long-term investments, on its website (click here).
The group also designated Aug 13-17 as summer "Tighten Up" Week for Arkansas.
Highlights to maximize efficiency for the summer include:
- While at home, the recommended minimum thermostat setting in the summertime is 78 F. When away, set the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees higher. For every degree you raise the setting, you reduce cooling costs 3 to 5 percent.
- Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Turn off the ceiling fan when the room is unoccupied. To save energy when using a ceiling fan, turn up the thermostat a degree or two.
- Keep your interior lights low or, if possible, completely off during the daylight hours.
- Wait until the cooler evening hours to use your oven. Or better yet, use a microwave or toaster oven to cook foods whenever possible.
- Keep the lids on pans, especially when simmering or boiling food for a long time.
- Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to vent heat and humidity outside. Don't use exhaust fans any longer than necessary or they can blow out all the cooled air in your home.