By Stephen Davis
Special to Relocation.com
In the summer, electricity bills  can increase – especially in warmer areas in the south and west. During such periods of heat electricity consumption needs to be kept low. The key to this is efficiency and to use resources wisely.
One of the first things that you should remember is to keep your shades and blinds closed. This prevents the sun from heating up your home and wasting energy. Incandescent bulbs and other similar light sources also produce heat just like the sun does, so it is better that you keep extra lights off. A dark area generally gives a cool feeling anyway.
Hot air rises, so keep the vents and windows of the lower rooms closed. This will give the rooms upstairs more air and keep them ventilated and cool. Keep the vents and windows of the upper rooms open to the hot air escapes that way.
Also find out the sources of heat in your house. Cloth dryers use a lot of electricity and in addition to that, they also produce a lot of heat. Always install dryers near a window and have an air pipe made or an exhaust fan installed to channel away the hot air. Dryers that are placed in basements should have proper ventilation too or the hot air will escape into your living room through the stair case.
You should take a tour of your house and examine any openings from where cool air might escape. Remember cool air is heavier and will escape from places closed to the floor. This includes the spaces under doors. Some doors have a large space underneath them. This wastes a lot of cool air. Install strips of carpet or rubber at the door edges to act as a barrier to the cold air.
Human bodies also produce heat, especially during active actions like exercises. Do not do workouts indoors. Use your lawn or the local gym. The less activity there is inside the house, the cooler it will stay.
Many people keep on changing the air conditioner thermostat. This isn’t a wise idea as it uses more energy. Keep the air conditioner at one constant temperature. It will always cool better that way and consume less electricity as well. If you have a central air system, keep the fan on “On” instead of “Auto”. This will keep a steady airflow through your house and maintain the temperature beautifully.
Use pleasant weather wisely. Place a box fan in a window early in the morning and open the opposite window. This will circulate the fresh morning air through your house and cool it down.
In many areas, the air conditioner is not really necessary. Learn to live without it unless absolutely necessary. In many cases, the ceiling fan can do a nice job by itself.
Try if it works. Using less air conditioning will bring down electricity costs considerably.
And by the way, since it is the summer; go outside. Visit the beach, lake or riverside. Go to water parks and have picnics with friends. When you leave, make sure everything is turned off.