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Running the air conditioner can skyrocket an electricity bill, but the alternative isn’t pretty either. Luckily, we have a few tips to keep you cool this summer while saving money at the same time. Something as simple as turning on a fan or closing the blinds during the day can make a world of difference.

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Stop cooling the neighborhood

Unless your house is brand new, the cold air in it is likely to seep into the neighborhood through doors and windows with stained seals, a poorly insulated attic, and other sneaky cracks.

To see how well your home is holding up in the cold, sign up with your utility or local contractor for a home energy audit. A certified house energy assessor or auditor will check your home for leaks and recommend the best way to make your home more energy efficient.

Don’t you want to jump to an audit? Do your own audit. Stand in front of your house and run your hand through the windows and doors. Do you feel the cold air escaping? When you do this, caulk around leaky windows and insulate the doors.

Make an upgrade

If you haven’t upgraded to a smart thermostat – such as Ecobee or nest – It might be time to make changes. Smart thermostats can regulate heating and cooling when you are away to save money. You can also adjust the settings remotely using an app on your phone or using voice commands. Here is our list of the best smart thermostats to help you make the best decision for your home.

Make sure your thermostat is on the right wall

The placement of the thermostat can play a big role in how well your air conditioner works. For example, if you put it against a wall right next to a hot window, your air conditioner will turn on much more often than necessary because the room will be hotter than it actually is. Find out how to do it Choose the perfect wall for your thermostat.

Close the blinds

A window that lets in the hot sun not only heats your thermostat, but you too. During the warmest part of the day, close your blinds to keep the sun out. It can also help insulate your windows, which will prevent cold air from escaping.

A fan can help save cooling costs.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Use a fan

You don’t always have to charge the air conditioner to feel cooler. Using a ceiling fan can make a room feel cooler, which is enough to raise the thermostat temperature by four degrees “without compromising comfort”. If you want to get high tech, you can install a smart ceiling fan that connects to an app and automatically adjusts to the schedules you create.

Increase the temperature

Always set your thermostat to the highest temperature you can stand to save the most money. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to keep your AC power at the correct temperature. You can program the device to operate at higher temperatures while you work and to cool down just before you arrive.

According to the Nebraska Energy Office, you can save 10% annually on cooling costs by setting your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees higher for 8 hours a day. The US Department of Energy recommends aiming for an indoor temperature of 78 degrees in your home. But it’s okay if 78 degrees isn’t feasible for you; Even a small change in temperature can save you a lot of money.

Continue reading: Going on vacation this summer? In this way, you can reduce AC costs while you are away

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