ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – With more people working, studying and playing from home, households are seeing a spike in their electricity bills. But experts say from the way we keep cool, to the time of day we do our laundry, they are all habits we can change. Being conscious about the choices we make may just save your wallet from emptying out.

“I think we get set in our ways of how we like to run things, so we may not think about them,” said Reliant Energy’s Principal of Emerging Technologies, Wayne Morrison.

With spring and summer just around the corner, Morrison says the biggest culprit is your air conditioner.

“If you look at your thermostat, you want to have that in the “Auto” position, not the “On” position, so you save that run time on the air conditioning unit,” explained Morrison.

Any temperature below 78 degrees can increase your bill by 7% per degree. This is why experts advise you to turn your ceiling fans on instead.

“You want to run those in a counter-clockwise position. That’ll give you the windchill effect, so you feel cooler. And you can adjust the temperature, and save energy on your air conditioning.”

You can also save additional dollars by following these steps:

  • Close the blinds during the hottest part of the day 
  • Do your laundry either in the morning or late at night
  • Make sure your air conditioner filter is cleaned out
  • Use the microwave or a slow cooker instead of the oven
  • Switch out incandescent lights with LED lights
  • Run your dishwasher fewer times by fully loading up the rack every cycle

Morrison says while it may defer from household to household, following these tips could decrease your bill by 5 to 10 percent.

For more tips on how to save energy in your home, click here.