After the water bill was 10 times higher than normal, I looked a little deeper into my other utility bills to see where I may be able to save a few dollars this month. Don't think I'll need to worry about the gas bill for a little while longer. But, with hot conditions in the forecast this week, it's going to be a challenge to keep the electric meter from spinning out of control.

According to a Consumer Reports study, you can save about 3 percent on your electric bill for every degree you raise the thermostat setting. Theoretically you could save about 30 percent if you raise the temp from 72 to 82 degrees.

The Department of Energy recommends the following settings for programmable thermostats:

• 78° F when you’re home
• 85° F when you’re at work or away
• 82° F when you’re sleeping

82 degrees when sleeping? Unless you're my elderly parents or a reptile, 82 is uncomfortable.

Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media
Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media

My thermostat is set at 74 when I'm home, 78 when I'm at work (and the dog is home), and 68 when I'm sleeping. I'll pay the higher electric bill to sleep in an ice box.

At what temperature do you keep the thermostat while you sleep? Have there been fights over the settings?

If there’s a heat wave, avoid using your washer, dryer, and dishwasher during the heat of the day. Also, make sure you use the exhaust fans in your kitchen when you’re cooking or in the bathroom when you’re taking a shower. Cooking outside on your grill is another way to keep the heat out of the house. -Consumer Reports


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