Summer is here, and the heat and humidity are rolling in. While we generally take air-conditioning for granted, it can be an expensive luxury.

Here's 5 ways to immediately start saving money on keeping your home cool.

  • 1

    Change the Filter

    Air will flow through your unit with greater efficiency if you change your A/C's filter regularly. If it's dirty or clogged, it's working too hard and will cost you more money.

    Danny V_Townsquare Media
  • 2

    Use the Ceiling Fan...Properly

    During the summer you want the fan to blow air straight down, so your ceiling fan needs to run in a counter clockwise direction (as you look up at it). The warmer it is, the higher the speed should be. Using your ceiling fan can lower air-conditioning costs by up to 14 percent over the course of the cooling season.

    Danny V_Townsquare Media
  • 3

    Pull the Drapes

    Direct sunlight in any part of your home will cause heat pockets. Pull the drapes when you leave for a cooler home when your return. This should include all south and west facing windows in the summer.

  • 4

    Buy a Programmable Thermostat

    According to CBSNews, using a programmable thermostat can save you a whopping $180 per year! It saves energy by automatically turning itself down when you're away and remembers the temperatures you like and programs itself. I haven't installed one myself but they say they're easy to install.
  • 5

    Upgrade to New Energy Star Unit