Reduce power bill during summer months

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Anytime there's extreme weather your utility bills are likely to go up. Right now, with the temperatures in the 90s many people are shelling out extra cash to cool their homes and in some cases it's doubling their power bill. According to Mississippi Power, there are ways to reduce the cost of your bill this summer.

While you take comfort in beating the heat by lowering your thermostat you're probably less comfortable with the result of a high energy bill.

"When temps goes up, usage usually goes up. And one of the main contributors usually is the air conditioning," said Mississippi Power Mass Market Planner Mark-David Howard.

According to Howard, air conditioning takes up a big chunk of your power bill in the summer. But there are ways to cool your home without eating a hole in your wallet. First, Howard recommends you have yearly check-ups for your air conditioning unit, as well as, making sure the air from the unit isn't blocked by things like vegetation.

"As you can kind of see right here, this is a good example of some brush that needs to be trimmed back a little bit to make room for the outside unit," said Howard.

During the summer months, Howard says keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees is a good way to keep your power costs low.

"Every degree that you go below that 78 degrees setting is roughly 3 to 5 percent increase of your usage just by bumping it down one degree," said Howard.

Other ways to reduce your energy bill include, keeping your refrigerator closed as much as possible, turning off your lights, keeping sun light out by shutting your blinds, changing your air filter monthly and making sure your dishwasher is full before running it to reduce the number of loads.

"A fan in summer time can definitely help lower your energy usage. It doesn't require near as much energy as your central heating and air," said Howard.

Following these tips will still keep you cool without breaking the bank. Click for more energy saving tips.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.