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Profitt Report: Here's how to keep your energy bill low when the temperatures are high

Photo credit: MGN

Even facing a 90-degree week, Stella Tomkinson of Auburn isn’t fazed.

“I enjoy the four seasons,” Tomkinson.

Mostly because in Michigan, we’re guaranteed variety.

“You can have it in the same week,” she said.

Still, she’s arming herself with air-conditioning.

“They come visit us twice a year,” she said.

Answer Heating & Cooling comes to check out Tomkinson’s air conditioning in the early summer and her furnace in the fall.

“We catch a lot of stuff on maintenance,” said Anthony Rugenstein, HVAC technician with Answer Heating & Cooling.

Routine maintenance calls will cost you but here’s the thing: and AC unit that isn’t fully functioning costs you more every month on your electric bill.

Replacing a dirty filter can lower you’re AC’s energy consumption by five to 15 percent according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“We mainly check for the refrigerant charge on the units, make sure the operating components are doing what they're supposed to be doing,” Rugenstein said.

Next, keep heat from leaking into your home!

“That sun just barrels right in in the afternoon,” Tomkinson said of the picture window in her living room.

Closing the curtains is a good place to start.

Tomkinson and her husband follow the simple logic, heat rises, so they spend time in the part of the house that’s most comfortable for their individual preferences.

“He’s down in the basement most of the time and I’m up [stairs] most of the time,” she said.

Last, though this weekend is likely an AC must, not every day is.

If you can keep it higher during the day and cooler in the afternoons and evenings when you’re home, that’s a big help. The website Smart Energy says for every degree you raise the thermostat, four to eight percent can be saved on cooling costs.

“Shut it off, open some windows, get some air moving in the house,” Rugenstein said.

It costs homeowners in the U.S. $11 billion every year to power their air conditioners. They’re a life-saver during hot spells like we’re experiencing in mid-Michigan, but you can still keep your costs low with some simple strategies.

The Profitt Report wants to hear from you - please send consumer questions and story ideas to ProfittReport@WSMH.com

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