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Auto thermostat can save on summer electric bills

Consumers who are gone most of the day can save a lot of money by setting their electric thermostats above 80 degrees Fahrenheit so air-conditioning units don't have to run so much.

It only takes an hour or so that after you return home and reset the thermostat to a lower temperature for the house to cool down.

The problem with this cost-saving method is, most residents don't want to be less than comfortable first hour.

Here's a tip that could save you more than 20 percent on electric bills.

Use an automatic thermostat.

These thermostats cost less that $50 and can be programmed to reset air-conditioning temperatures for you.

Set the thermostat to a lower temperature about an hour before you're due to get home, and the house will be comfortable when you arrive.

Here are some other things you can do to save on electric bills.

Check equipment to make sure it is in working order.

A serviceman may be needed to oil motors and add refrigerant.

Replace or clean filters regularly.

Close curtains on east windows in the morning and west windows in the afternoon.

Sunlight in the windows can be a big source of discomfort.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, and other related acts, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) offers educational programs, materials, and equal opportunity employment to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.