Four ways to survive heat wave – and keep energy bills down

As America blasts its ACs and put its fans on overdrive to try to cope with the heat wave, it will use a lot of energy – which costs a lot of money. More than 40 percent of a typical home’s utility bill goes toward cooling costs.

Here are four tips for keeping energy costs down and still staying cool.

3. Rely on a fan-AC combo

Good ceiling fans complement air conditioners, and they allow homeowners to raise the thermostat by about 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort levels, according to the Energy Department.

“We set our temperature at 78 degrees, and with a quiet, giant ceiling fan, we feel comfortable,” Chu says. “The combination does the trick.”

On the other hand, setting the AC below 78 degrees can increase cooling costs by up to 40 percent, according to Con Edison, New York City’s energy provider.

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