Savings challenge: Cool down summer bills by using AC more efficiently

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Summer can be brutal. Between the punishing sun and stifling humidity, air conditioning reigns in my house.

But using it 24/7 can be expensive. Air conditioners can be energy hogs.

Florida Power & Light makes it easy to see the electricity level consumed at any given time — by month, by day and even by the hour. As I prepared to write this story, I viewed my usage history with a sense of dismay.

My May bill this year tallied $30 more than the same month last year — because I used 325 more kilowatt-hours.

As part of Bankrate’s 52 weeks of savings series, I decided to find out how to use my air conditioning efficiently and save some money.