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Kasey Trenum's Time2Save: Making your electric bill less shocking

Q: How do I save on electricity?

A: Electric bills are a part of life whether we want them to be or not. Luckily, we don't have to feel the burn of a huge bill each month. Here are some tips and tricks to make those balances a little smaller.

• Try a budgeted bill. Instead of your bill fluctuating every month, you may be able to receive an average monthly bill by calling your utility company. That way, you can better budget the monthly expense so that it doesn't go way up or down.

• Switch bulbs. You can easily change regular lights to fluorescents. These bulbs may cost a little more initially, but over the course of a year they will cost less to use and be much more budget-friendly.

• Not in the room? Turn it off! Double-check to make sure all lights are turned off when not in use. Always get into the habit of turning lights off when you leave a room or leave the house. If you tend to forget, you may want to consider setting lights on an automated timer.

• Seal cracks. Seal windows and doors with caulk. This is simple and inexpensive to do, and it can keep heat and air conditioning indoors where it is needed. Cracks allow air and heat to escape, causing your units to run harder and longer, which costs more money.

• Get a programmable thermostat. This saves you money all on its own. This way, you aren't heating or cooling the house when no one is home.

• Clean and replace air filters. This works in the same way sealing cracks does. When you keep filters clean, your unit runs more efficiently, thus saving you cash.

• Use a ceiling fan. Fans are a great way to circulate air for less money. Set the fan to blow up during cold weather to keep the air circulated, and down during warm weather for the opposite effect.

These tips all boil down to being conscious about daily routines and keeping units running efficiently. Give 'em a try.

For more tips on saving money, go to Email

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