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Identify and Fix Air Leaks
You'll use the air conditioner less when your chilled atmosphere isn't leaking out around window and doors. Inspect your weather stripping (Or install it if you're without!) to make sure there are no missing or damaged areas.
Buy a Better Thermostat
An investment in an upgraded thermostat could save you hundreds this summer - and the next, and the next! Programmable thermostats save at least 10 percent every month by helping you cool your space much more efficiently. Precision timing and temp controls ensure that you stay comfortable - and that your system is only on when you need it to be.
Change your Air Filters
HVAC filters fill with grime and dust over the winter and pollen over the spring. Summer's when you should make sure that they're clean so costs stay down, as fresh filters help your comfort system run more smoothly. Otherwise it'll struggle to push the air out... and that bumps up your bill.
Clean your Vents
If your vents are dirty, your air conditioner will consume more energy to force air through your home. Clean vents also mean that you'll be breathing better air. Hire a pro for a deep cleaning but, at the least, DIY it at the opening of each vent.
Add a Ceiling Fan to Cut your Costs
Using lots less power than an air conditioner, a ceiling fan will help you feel comfortable while saving cash.
---------------Taking a Vacation this Summer?---------------
Don't Waste Watts while You're Away
If you're going to be gone for more than a few days, turn off your water heater at the electric breaker panel. Use natural gas? Turn it down - not off.
How many times have we heard that a friend or acquaintance came home after a vacation to find a flood? Avoid being a cautionary tale and turn off the cold and hot water that goes to your washer, since most don't have "burst proof" hoses. Feeling proactive? This could be an excellent time to replace your black rubber hoses with the burst-proof variety. You can find them in most home stores; they'll have a braided stainless steel sleeve.
Even when they're turned off, these little energy vampires are sucking juice. Cut them off by unplugging your TV, DVD player, stereo system, computer and more. And, for safety's sake, unplug those toasters, hair appliances and coffee makers.
A vacation is a chance to feel cool and comfortable on someone else's dime! Turn your air to "off" while you're away and close your window coverings to keep the house from getting too hot. Sure, you'll need to open all the windows the first evening back, but it'll be worth it when the bill arrives.
Make sure all your lights are off, with the exception of a few you can set on timers to discourage theft and vandalism. Leave outdoor motion detector lights on for the same reasons.