Staying comfortable temperature wise can be expensive. Running your HVAC system in the house or office can be the largest contributor to your power bill. Here are some tips to keep your power bill down. Consider replacing your old HVAC unit with a newer, more efficient system. Paying upfront for a new energy star rated model can save you money overtime. Lower power bills will eventually cover the cost of the initial investment. Be sure to look for the SEER rating, the higher the rating the more efficient the unit is. If you double the rating you can cut the AC operating cost in half. Be sure to look for federal, state and local rebates on higher efficiency units. Install a programmable thermostat. Newer thermostats allow you to program them from your smartphone. This will allow you to adjust your temperature while away from the house so you are not paying to cool or warm your house while it is empty. You can increase or decrease the temperature an hour before you come home so you walk into a comfortable environment. Change your filter monthly. A dirty filter makes your blower fan and cooling system work extra hard using more power. Do not underestimate the importance of a clean filter, they are the number one reason HVAC systems break down and can cause a 7% power bill increase. Make sure your ductwork is in good standing. If they are not sealed correctly cool air may be escaping and is wasted in the basement, attic or crawl spaces. Consider tinting your windows or upgrading your window shades to block out sun. It is estimated about 30% of heat comes through your windows. Your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to cool the house if the inside temperature is mild. Have your HVAC system inspected once a year to make sure it is operating at peak performance. The HVAC technician will normally perform a detailed once over and clean the outside unit, coils and check the controls and refrigerant levels.