SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – It’s time to prepare to beat the heat — and think about ways to save on those summer electric bills.

Whether it’s air conditioning or busting out the fans and turning them up to full blast, costs can run high for those scorcher summer days.

DTE Energy says the average homeowner spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs — and summer cooling is a large part of that.

DTE offers these tips and guidelines that can help reduce cost and charges:

•  Increase your thermostat setting.  For every degree you increase your thermostat above 72 degrees, you’ll reduce your cooling costs by up to 3 percent.  Better yet, install a programmable thermostat and let it automatically adjust the setting for you
•  Change or clean your furnace filter once a month.  A dirty filter restricts airflow and can cause your air condition unit to run longer.  Vacuum registers and vents regularly, and don’t let furniture and draperies block the air flow.
•  Use ceiling fans to assist your air conditioning.  Set them to run counter-clockwise (or downward air flow), which provides better air circulation.  Remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
•  Close blinds, draperies and shades on windows facing the sun to block out the heat, and wait until cooler times of the day to run your dishwasher or clothes dryer.
•  Have your central air conditioning unit tuned-up by a professional, plus clear away weeds and debris so that air can circulate freely around the unit.

For additional information and to find out more about some saving’s programs offered to DTE customers, visit this link.

One last tip – Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and enjoy the summer!

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