As summer unofficially kicks off this weekend, so, too, does the sweltering weather that may leave us all longing for the days of the polar vortex.
The Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic should expect more 90-degree days than last year, with as many as 10 additional shirt-soakers in Philadelphia and New York City, according to AccuWeather. The forecasters there also predict warmer weather throughout the Gulf and a continuation of the drought in California.
Such a scorching forecast is tough not only on your summer plans but also on your wallet. Air conditioners account for about 5 percent of all the electricity used in the United States, costing homeowners more than $11 billion per year in energy costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Keep your costs down with basic energy-saving moves like changing your HVAC filters several times a year, turning the AC down when you’re sleeping or away from home and drawing the curtains on the sunny side of your house. Planting trees for shade on the sunny side can also cool your home. And consider asking your electricity provider to do an energy audit to let you know if you have any problem spots like leaky windows or insufficient ventilation.
Of course, your house isn’t the only thing heating up this summer. But don’t worry, science will keep you cool. New high-tech gadgets can ice down everything from your drink to your dog.
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