FOX19 - As the weather starts warming up, families all across the Tri-State will turn the A/C back on and likely see their power bills rise.
If you don't already have a programmable thermostat, investing the $100 or so to get one can help you save money by allowing you to dial back the air conditioning when you're away from home.
Raising the temperature just two degrees in the summer cuts cooling costs by as much as 5 percent.
"During the day, look around the perimeter, if you see any visible daylight, you know air is coming through here, it's leaking air," says Todd Kistler with Duke Energy.
One other smart move—check to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed. You can add weather-stripping or caulk to close the gaps and keep cool air inside, and hot air out.
If you have old incandescent light bulbs, swap those out for fluorescent or LED bulbs. They'll last longer - and use a lot less energy.
And don't make the mistake of assuming an old fridge is fine if it's still running. Older fridges use more electricity. A new, more-efficient refrigerator should pay for itself in a few years.
One of the best tips? Change the filter in your air conditioner regularly.
The Simply Money point: A dirty filter will not only make your A/C less efficient, it will actually age your system faster.
If you're a Duke Energy customer, you can sign up for a free home energy house call. An expert will come out and walk through your house for you, pointing out easy fixes that'll save you money on your monthly energy bill – at no cost to you. Here's a link to the home energy house call.