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Heat waves can take a major bite out of your monthly budget. If you’re looking for ways to take some of the teeth out of your power bill, here are some ways to stay cool and save money this summer:

Thermostat Ping Pong: Set reminders to up your thermostat when you’re not going to be home or when you’re sleeping. Bumping up the temperature a few degrees can add up significantly over the course of a month.

Get Out of Dodge: Do you work from home? Take that laptop on the road. Turn up the temperature at home and find cool libraries, cafes, or other public spaces.

Shade the A/C: Providing shade for your A/C unit can drive up the unit’s efficiency by 10%. While trees and shrubs can shade your house and absorb heat, the same is true for the equipment keeping you cool!

Screen that Sun: Install solar screens on your windows to block around 70 percent of the solar energy streaming into your house.

Invoke the “No Stove” Rule: Hot summer months are the perfect time to turn to salads and cooler foods. Keep the stove off and use the microwave for heating. No baking, no frying, no broiling! The excess heat will drive up the temps inside.

Maintain the A/C: When was the last time you changed the filter? Is the unit draining correctly? Drive the efficiency to lower expenses.

Slow Down Your A/C Fan: When it’s humid, slow down the speed of the A/C’s fan. This will allow the A/C to remove more of the moisture from the air before speeding it along.

Of course, a great way to lower expenses is to downsize if you don’t need the space. If you’re looking for a new place, we I’d be glad to help you with the search (and the sale of your current home!):

Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS – http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com or http://www.HanleyShortSales.com – 904-422-7626