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Rising temperatures, lower electric bills

By Jen Haley, producer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Triple-digit temperatures are roasting the Northeast. If you're trying to cool down without increasing your electricity bill, try out some of these strategies.

Take a look at heat sources in your home. Replace any incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs produce the same light, but use a fraction of the heat and energy.

You should also try to avoid using your dishwasher, oven or clothes drier at peak heat time during the day. Remember to wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. In fact, you may want to consider letting your clothes dry on a clothesline.

Also, using smaller appliances like microwaves or toaster ovens whenever possible will both save energy and keep the heat out of the kitchen.

Don't place lamps or TVs near your air conditioning thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.

During the day, close your curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day so the sun can't beat in through your windows. And try to place your air conditioner in shaded locations too. If an air conditioner has been in direct sunlight all day, it's going to have to work that much harder to cool the air inside your home.

And think shade! Deciduous trees -- these are trees that produce leaves in the spring and then lose them in the fall -- shade your house from the sun during warmer days and let the sun warm your house on cooler days. Shading your home could save up to 8% on cooling costs.

You may also consider plugging your TVs and computer or stereo into power strips, and then turning those power strips off when equipment is not in use.

Talkback: Are you trying to lower your electricity use? To top of page

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