Controlling costs while keeping cool: 10 ways to save on your air conditioning bill

CHARLOTTE — Warmer temperatures are settling in for spring and summer, which means many people are relying on their air conditioning to stay cool.

Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke is always looking for ways to help people save money, especially these days with prices going up for food, gas and rent.

Here are 10 ways to save on your air conditioning bill:

1. Duke Energy recommends bumping up your thermostat when you are not at home, but not too much, just about three to five degrees, or you’ll spend a lot cooling your house back down.

2. Use efficient light bulbs. Energy Star has a list of suggestions here, and many cost under $5.

3. Change your air filters regularly. Stoogenke changes his once every season and says it’s easier on your HVAC system (and your allergies).

4. Make sure your vents are open and nothing is blocking them.

5. Old appliances tend to use more energy, so you may want to replace them. It will cost more now but will save you money down the road.

6. Use shades, blinds, or window films. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 76% of sunlight that falls on standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.

7. Use a programmable thermostat so you can set the times according to your schedule.

8. Bankrate suggests using your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, so cooking and hot showers won’t heat up your home.

9. Duke Energy suggests using ceiling fans so your air conditioner doesn’t have to run as hard.

10. Make sure you don’t have air leaks around your doors and windows.

(WATCH BELOW: Action 9 helps Gastonia man who claims Duke Energy damaged driveway)