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When the temperature rises and the heat of summer finally hits, you want your home to stay cool and comfortable. But the cost of cooling your home and keeping your family comfortable is not insignificant.

If you want to stay cool and comfortable all summer long, you need to make your plans ahead of time. When the temperatures soar into the 90s, it could be too late to keep those summer utility bills under control. Here are three simple things you can do to reduce the high cost of air conditioning this summer.

Clean AC Filters   

According to HVAC specialists, keeping the air conditioner’s filters clean is one of the most useful ways to keep cooling costs down. This is something that is often overlooked by homeowners. Changing dirty filters at least once a month maintains proper air flow. Dirty or clogged filters cause air to be unable to circulate properly. This causes the AC unit to work harder than it should have to, raising cooling costs. Check filters often, and change them when necessary.

Invest in a programmable thermostat  

Your home does not need to be cool all day long; just when you and your family are at home. A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature ahead of time and, in some cases even remotely, so your home will be comfortable when you return and your cooling costs will stay under control.

Schedule a pre-summer HVAC checkup  

Having your HVAC system professionally inspected could save you a season of hassles and even prevent a midsummer breakdown. But schedule your checkup now; if you wait too long, local HVAC techs could be too busy to help.

Once you hire a professional to perform your AC repair, another advantage will be employing them to perform regular maintenance, cleaning and systems checks on your equipment. This is a relatively minor charge that will ensure that your system is working at full capacity and efficiency and avoid further repairs down the road.