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Published: Thursday, 7/6/2006

Save Money While You Survive the Heat

(NewsUSA) - Staying cool this summer could become a challenge when the waves of summer heat come lapping at your door. If you haven't prepared your home to keep the cool air indoors and the heat out, you may lose in the battle to survive the summer with reasonable cooling bills and optimal comfort.

The company that brings you Heil brand heating and cooling products suggests the following steps to keep your energy bills affordable and your home comfortably cool:

* Lock your windows and shut your garage door. It's important to minimize the loss of cool air from your home. Sunshine can heat up your garage and cause your air conditioner to work much harder than necessary. Windows not shut tightly will allow cool air to escape. Lock your windows to give them a better seal, and shut your garage door to help keep your cool air indoors.

* Clear the area around your thermostat. Keep the area around your thermostat clear of electronics and lighting. The thermostat will sense heat from these appliances and run the air conditioner longer than necessary.

* Program your thermostat. A programmable thermostat can save money and energy by operating at a more cost-efficient temperature while you're asleep or away from home, and automatically lower the temperature to cool your home just before you wake up or return.

* Evaluate your landscaping. Plant trees and shrubs to shade your air conditioner but not block its air flow. A shaded air-conditioning unit will run more efficiently than one that operates in the sun. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an air conditioner uses as much as 10 percent less electricity when working in the shade.

* Re-examine your air-conditioning system. Your heating and cooling system may be sending hundreds of dollars in wasted energy bills through the roof. Purchasing a new, more energy-efficient system can cost less than keeping an older, less energy-efficient system.

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