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Expert offers tips to save on your power bill during Central Georgia heatwave

Here are some tips on how to stay cool and save your cold, hard cash.

MACON, Ga. — These days, you might consider your air condition your best friend.

Here are some tips on how to stay cool and save your cold, hard cash.

Les Scott owns Air Masters of Middle Georgia.

In a hot stretch like this one, he's like an accountant during tax season, because Mother Nature is exposing problems in air conditioning units.

"Once we get into the high 90s, the 100s, if your unit's not keeping up, something's wrong -- you find out real quick when you go to bed and it's 80 degrees in your house," he explained.

An air conditioning unit will run in the thousands of dollars to replace. Extreme heat taxes the motor, but there are some things you can do to get more life out of your unit.

First, move plants or shrubbery away from the machine.

"Trim it back -- nothing crazy, maybe 10 to 15 inches from the unit," he suggested.

Schedule with a professional for a yearly service call.

"Cleaning up the parts that don't normally get cleaned," he explained. "Try and catch any issues before they arise."

Also, grab your hose to give the metal a good shower.

"I tell them to make sure the unit's off and I take a water hose and rinse inside these coils with just water, and you'll be amazed how much stuff builds up," he said while holding a hose.

A lot of people ask Les, "Do I need to change my filter?" The answer is a resounding, "Yes."  Think of your unit like your nose -- when you get plugged up or congested, it's hard to breathe, and the same thing is true for your air conditioner.

"It's really the number one thing you can do to make sure your unit's running fine," he said while holding a new filter.

"You go to the hardware store and there are 40 types of filters, it's probably a little overwhelming," he projected.  "I usually tell people to get the least-expensive pleated filters they have."

You can also close the blinds in your house, keep your thermostat set at 78, and if you see sunshine through the bottom of any doorways, it's time to put down more weather stripping.

"The monthly savings on your electric bill adds up over time," he said with a smile.

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