"We spend half our energy bills on heating and cooling, especially in the summer time. We all notice that our bills go up because of that, so really the best thing to do is move your thermostat setting up to about 78 degrees."
Raising your thermostat can save you up to $25 a month on your energy bill.
"Also, when you leave the house, you can move that thermostat up a little higher into the 80s. Keeping it coming on ever so often but at the same time, not where it's staying on while you're not there."
Wes says if you have a hard time remembering to bump up the air conditioning before you leave for the day, invest in a programmable thermostat and use a fan to circulate the cool air.
"Some other tips that we try to remind people of is to keep the heat outside and not inside your house. If you have drapes or blinds keep those closed, block the sun, especially for those windows that face the south and the west because it gets really hot in the afternoon."
If you're looking for a long-term solution Wes says to plant trees around the south and west side of your house, and to invest in energy-saving appliances.
"When it comes time to buy a new fridge or new washer look for that energy star ranking. It's going to be a lot more efficient that your older units and it's going to save a lot of money."
Wes also says to be cautious of phantom uses of power, and don't leave electronics plugged in.
"Another thing you need to look at if you're running your air conditioner, are you losing that cool air through cracks under the door or through the windows so have someone come take a look at your windows or doors. Xcel does have a program that contractors will come in your house and test your house or audit your energy use and will look for those cracks and make some remedial changes, like adding weather stripping. That's all free of charge."
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