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REDUCING UTILITY BILLS DURING THE SUMMER

If the apartment, townhouse, duplex, or house you rent rests in the balmy South, the typically tepid Southwest, or another region known for its perspiration-making weather, summers may be hard on your wallet. In a large percentage of modern rental agreements, utilities are not all bundled together in the payment you remit to your landlord on a monthly basis. If utilities at your rented residence are in your own name and separated entirely from your rent, you are most likely accustomed to a wavering amount of overall monthly expenditures, such as an assigned parking spot.

While some bills -- such as your water and phone bills -- can be predictable even if they vary by a few cents month-to-month, the utility bill has been known to throw many renters and property owners for a loop. It can be difficult for you do any advanced budgeting when your utility bill is up one month and down the next; is can be harrowing to budget during the summer, in which that same utility bill settles for being consistently up.

The good news is that there are plenty of efforts you can take to reduce your utility costs during the months when your air conditioner struggles as from running a marathon to keep up with the encroaching heat. You should implement as many of these ideas as you can for the best shot at substantially lowering your payment. It also doesn't hurt, while spring is still tottering on the brink of summer, to set aside some extra funds just in case your thrifty-making efforts do not lower costs quite as much as you had hoped. The essential elements of reducing your utility prices are weatherproofing and economical use of resources.

Efforts Around the House

Weatherproofing during the summer months means heat-proofing. One relatively simple effort you can make to ensure that your air conditioner works as little as possible is to hang what are called "black-out curtains." These curtains are tailored from a thick, heavy fabric that efficiently keeps sun from seeping into the room. Sometimes utilized in households where a new baby is prone to fitful daytime naps, these curtains can also bring down the temperature of your residence throughout the day so that your air conditioner is not as burdened.

In the vein of keeping cool air in and warm air out, certain pieces of advice most of us received in childhood still ring true -- and economical. For instance, not standing there with the door open, not neglecting to properly shut the door behind you, not unnecessarily leaving windows cracked. The simple process of thoroughly "sealing" your house will help keep it cool. If there are significant cracks at the bottom of your doors or windows, you might fix the problem by purchasing or devising some long, obstructive object to more thoroughly seal off problem areas.

Habits of Electricity Use

Throughout seasons of temperate climate, you can probably afford to be less than ardent in your efforts to begin reducing utility bills during the summer. When summer strikes in a geographical hot spot, however, the time comes to tighten up all of your efforts. You can do so in part by making sure not to leave the air conditioner cranked high throughout the hours when no one is home. Some thermostats provide alarm clock-like programmability that allows you to preset the schedule of your air condition; by such means you can dictate when you air condition backs off its cooling efforts even when you are not at home. You can also preset it to rev up its cooling motions again near time for you to arrive home.

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