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SOUTHLAKE (CBS11) – Amy Harris of Southlake beats the summer heat by hiding from it.

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“I don’t like it this time of year. We don’t want to go outside, we don’t to open the doors, we don’t want to open the windows,” said Harris.

But there’s one thing she can’t escape.

“As far as the electricity in my house, my bill is going to be gigantic,” said Harris.

But there are ways to soften the blow of a big bill.

“The biggest thing everyone needs to think about it is their air conditioning because that’s what’s using the most electricity right now,” said TXU energy spokesman Juan Elizondo.

Jamie Woolridge, President of Berkeys Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Heating, said check the filters in your AC unit every 30 days to make sure they don’t need replaced.

“Make sure they aren’t obstructed, they aren’t filled with dust and dander because if they are it’s making it work harder, longer and making your house less comfortable,” said Woolridge.

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Elizondo said turn up your thermostat just a few degrees to save money.

“The United States department of energy recommends 78 degrees and that seems a little warm for a lot of us,” said Elizondo who recommended keeping your ceiling fan on to make the room feel four degrees cooler.

Other small changes: close your blinds and don’t use your dishwasher or cook in the middle of the day.

“All of those things add heat and humidity to your home and that’s going to cause your AC to run more,” said Elizondo.

Woolridge also recommended investing in a smart thermostat.

You can set them remotely or use the “away feature” when you’re not home.

“They can click that and automatically, you can see it took the temperature up 10 degrees and by doing that you can significantly reduce the cost of your bill,” said Woolridge.

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