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Save money on your electric bill this summer by following these simple tips

It's the middle of summer and if you live in a warmer part of the country, you're very likely still in shock over your most recent electric bill. 

Higher temperatures mean your air conditioning will work harder. But there are some things you can do to reduce your cost.

1. Don't set your thermostat any lower than 78 degrees. This may seem too hot for the summertime, but remember, the lower you go, the more you'll pay. Consider getting a programmable thermostat that will set the temperature higher while you're away. 

2. Change your AC filter. A dirty filter can restrict air flow, and your AC unit will have to work harder to pump cool air through your home. The end result is that you'll have a higher bill. 

3. Keep the windows in your home that get the most sun covered. This will reflect some of the heat away, instead of allowing it into your home.

4. Consider an attic exhaust fan. These fans will suck the hot air out through the attic, and help keep your home much cooler.

5. Although it's a future benefit, consider planting some trees around your home. A tree that casts shade onto your AC unit will help it run more efficiently. Your windows will also keep the heat on the outside if they're shaded.

6. If you have a basement, spend most of your time there during the hotter months. 

The weather is heating up, and unless you just enjoy paying higher electric bills, consider following these tips. They'll help you cut your cost and save money – and you can use the money for a super summer vacation.

Published Jul 07 2011, 10:56 AM by moneycoach
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