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Transcript: Cutting Cooling Bills

Anchor intro: Air conditioning is an expensive way to stay cool, and that's especially true in these days of historically high energy prices. But there are ways to chill your house without burning up your bank account. Bankrate.com has some cool tips for hot months.

Voice-over 1: If you spend about the average to keep your home cooled, heated and powered up throughout the year, then you're spending about 1500 bucks. This summer, most of that expense is going to pay your cooling bill… somewhere between $400 and $500.

Voice-over 2: Want to save some cool cash? The simplest way is also the cheapest: your filters, both inside and outside. Make it a habit to change, clean and/or change these things every month. That alone can reduce your bill by 10 percent.

Voice-over 3: The next place to cut costs are your windows and doors. Air loss can blow 15 to 25 percent of your energy budget. And the solution is cheap: weather-stripping and caulk.

Voice-over 4: A good ceiling fan can also save you serious money. A fan will allow you to set you set your thermostat at 78 degrees and make it feel like 72 degrees. Not bad considering it only costs about 15 cents to run for every 10 hours it's on.

Voice-over 5: The thermostat. Now here's a place you can really save some cool cash because every time you raise this thing one degree, you save 3 percent. So especially while you're away, raise it five degrees and cut your bill by 15 percent.

Voice-over 6: Also, do you close the vents in rooms that you're not using? Well, don't. Closing more than 10 percent of your vents can create an air pressure imbalance that will reduce your air conditioner's efficiency. So if you've got central air, let it flow.

Standup: One more tip for staying cool this summer: Avoid appliances that create heat in the hottest part of the day. So when it's hot outside, make some lemonade and lay on the sofa. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Posted: April 20, 2008
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