JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Parts of Mississippi are already under a heat advisory, and summer hasn’t even begun. It’s important to keep yourself cool, but your energy bill doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Leaders with Entergy Mississippi explained that it takes more energy to maintain a pleasant climate in your home when there’s a big different between inside and outside temperatures. Heating and cooling costs make up 55% of a typical electric bill.

Use the following tips from Entergy Mississippi to help lower the cost of your summer energy bill:

  • Make sure the air coming into your home is clean and healthy. Some air conditioning units need air filters that are cleaned monthly or replaced.
  • You can get your A/C inspected to make sure your system is leak-free and operating as efficiently as possible.
  • Set your thermostat at 78° or at the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree lower than 78° can raise your bill as much as 3%. If you crank your A/C to 72°, you’ve already raised your bill by 18%.
  • Buy a programmable thermostat. As energy rises, costs also rise. A programmable thermostat can help manage those costs when you’re away.
  • Use fans to cool off. Ceiling fans, box fans and oscillating fans use very little electricity to circulate the air, which can help you feel several degrees cooler. Make sure your ceiling fans are turning in the right direction. They should turn counter-clockwise in the summer to push cooler air down into the room. Turn all fans off when you leave the room.
  • Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep the sun out and the cool air in. Close air conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
  • Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and ductwork. Weather stripping and caulk will help keep the cold air in and the hot air out.