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Tips to save money and keep cool in the summer

Wednesday - 7/11/2012, 11:52am  ET

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Little things like turning the thermostat up by two or three degrees when no one is home can help save in cooling costs. (Thinkstock)

Meghin Moore, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Energy Star says the average American family pays nearly $1,000 on heating and cooling costs for their home. This number is much higher than paying for other electricity costs in a home and is almost half of a household's total energy bill.

Yahoo has some tips to help save money and keep costs low:

  • Place an oscillating fan in common family rooms, like dining rooms or living rooms. This will help the cool air circulating in the home.
  • Keep the temperature at a constant temperature, rather than lowering the thermostat too much. Lowering the thermostat will not cool the house faster, and it costs money.
  • If nobody is going to be at home, try raising the thermostat by two or three degrees.
  • Put in a whole house fan system. By having a whole house fan system, hot air will be pulled out of the home and air will circulate, which will cool the house. Installing a system like this could cool off a house a few degrees.
  • Check air conditioning units. If units are ten or more years old, replace them with energy efficient units that can reduce costs by at least 30 percent. Homes with central A/C should calibrate the thermostats and charge the system yearly.
  • Check the filters in air conditioning units and replace them once a month. By doing this, air flow across the filter will help cut costs and keep allergens like dust and pet dander from floating through the air.
  • Hang insulated curtains in windows. Curtains that are sheer or decorative might look nice, but they do not provide a barrier between homes and the outdoor heat. When it is hot outside, keep the windows covered. If it is a nice day, open up the curtains and let the sun shine in.
  • Check for leaks around windows and doors. Quick checks like this could save households all sorts of money on energy bills.

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