August 2, 2005-- Posted at 3:30 PM CDT
Making sure your air conditioner is working properly is the major way you can hold down your summer power bills. But there are also smaller steps you can take to keep your cooling costs from boiling over.For example, provide more shade for your home, either with blinds inside or trees and shrubbery outside. The Alliance to Save Energy says those are small measures for reducing the need for air conditioning.
The group also says consider replacing your conventional thermostat with a programmable one. That way, the temperature can tick up a little bit while the house is empty for six or eight hours a day, and it can start to cool down again a half-hour or so before the family begins arriving home. You don't waste a lot of energy keeping the house cool while there's nobody home.
The Alliance to Save Energy says a programmable thermostat can trim your energy bills by ten percent.