family cooking outdoors
Photo: Mark Lohman
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Tip 6: Cook Smart

Any appliance that generates heat adds to your cooling load. An oven baking cookies can easily raise the room temperature 10 degrees, which in turn jacks up overall cooling costs 2 to 5 percent. Save cooking (especially baking) for cooler hours, or cook outdoors on your grill. It is also a good idea to run the dishwasher and clothes dryer at night.

Cost: $0
Benefit: 2 to 5 percent off your cooling costs

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