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Power To Save: Advice to stay cool in the heat

An expert at The Home Depot shared some do-it-yourself tips to stay cool while saving cash.

DICKSON CITY, Pa. — When temperatures spike, so electric bills as people try to keep their homes cool.

Steve Dougherty at Home Depot said that most homes in the U.S. are under-insulated.

"The easiest way to upgrade that is a little bit of insulation; typically, the easiest place is in the attic," he explained. "That's the one you can get access to without ripping the walls open."

Another easy fix to keep the heat out is to use blackout curtains.

"That's going to keep a lot of the heat out. A lot of the heat is going to be coming in through your windows and through the openings in your wall, Dougherty said. "The blackout curtains are going to keep a lot of that out."

If you use window air conditioning units, it's important to have the right size one for the job.

"If you've got a small bedroom, as opposed to a large living room, you need two different-sized ones. If you're running the big living room one in the bedroom, it's going to freeze you out. It's going to draw a lot more power which is going to hike your bill up," added Dougherty.

And check the temperature setting.

"Seventy-two to 74 (degrees), it will take that edge off and keep the humidity down which will make it feel cooler," explained Dougherty.

Take advantage of ceiling fans in your home to keep the air circulating but make sure you're using the correct setting.

"Most fans have a reverse setting on it," Dougherty said. "There's a little switch that you flick, and it will send it in the other direction."

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