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We can all agree on four things: everything is high, summers are getting hotter, staying cool is essential, and saving money is important. When it comes to keeping our homes energy efficient, we can do many simple things to save money on our bills.

According to experts at Energy Star, we can save money by changing our daily routines. If we adjust some of our daily routines, they say we can impact our expenses, and we can see as soon as the next bill cycle. For example, cut down on hot water use. Use cold water when we wash our clothes, Don't let the water run unnecessarily, and don't take marathon showers, or we are saving electricity, which will make a difference in the light bill.

Did you know cleaning the vents and changing your air filters help your AC run more efficiently? Replacing or installing the weather stripping around the doors and putting new caulking on the windows also dramatically affects how cool your house is.

This summer, beat the heat and take some great advice from the people who know best. Here are some DIY tips and simple day-to-day adjustments we could make to help use less energy and save more money. Savings may vary based on your local climate, personal comfort preferences, how many people live in your home, and the type and age of HVAC equipment in your home.

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1. Replace You Light Bulbs
Out with the old and in with the new. Traditional incandescent light bulbs use a lot of electricity; say, the folks at Energy Star don't last longer either. Look for Energy Star-certified LED light bulbs because they use 90% less energy and offer the same amount of lighting. Though some LED bulbs cost a little more, you'll spend less in the long run because they last longer.

2. Reduce Water Heating And Using Hot Water
Not everyone has the money to replace a water heater. If you have extra funds, replace the old one with a tankless, energy-efficient wall unit. Most people don't realize water heating contributes to your total energy usage. Here are three ways to do that. 1. Use less hot water, especially when washing clothes. 2. insulate your water heater and at least the first six feet of pipes. 3. Turn down your water heater thermostat.

3. Replace Power Strips
Electronics like TVs or desktop computers use "Phantom energy" or "standby energy" when turned off or in standby mode.  Believe it or not, this accounts for 5 to 10% of residential energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), alleviating this alone can save more than $100 annually.

Smart power strips eliminate this problem by shutting off the power to electronics when they are not in use. They can turn off devices and inactive appliances at an assigned time through remote switches or a "master" device.

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4. Install A Programmable/Smart Thermostat
The average person doesn't have enough money to replace their HVAC unit. However, changing the thermostat to a smart device will help reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home because they can automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling while you are sleeping or out of town. Some models can tell you when to replace your air filters or be programmed to fit your weekly schedule.

5. Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
Get rid of the antique appliances as soon as you can afford to. Look at the Energy Star label, as it is a federal guarantee that the appliance will consume less energy than standard models. Here's an excellent example of why: Energy Star-certified washing machines use 20% less energy than standard models, and Energy Star refrigerators use 9% less energy. Newer appliances may cost a little more but will save you money in the long run.

Stay cool this summer and save money. Click HERE for even more ways to weatherproof your home with energy-efficient solutions.

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