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Cut the cost of your utility bills the cheap way

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Many of you have been contacting us about high utility bills during these hot summer days and we're getting answers on how you can save money and stay cool at the same time.

We all know the easy ways to save money on our utility bills.

"The easiest thing you can do is replace your filter in a timely manner," said Bruce Joyner, Assistant Manager at Lowe's Home Improvement.

But what about the lesser known methods that could really save you the big bucks? Joyner says a quick update to your old thermostat is always a great start, especially with new technology built right into the units.

"Just ease of access. It's wi-fi capable so you can have access from your smart phone," said Joyner but they can be pricey, so we found some cheaper alternatives.

Using the right burner is really important. If you use a small burner for a big pot you're going to use more energy to heat it up and that's more money. You also want to consider air-drying your dishes after they've washing in the dishwasher or maybe just wash them by hand.

Your pets might enjoy looking out the window but it's costing you money so when you're not at home it's best to just close them.

"Obviously as much sun as you can keep out of the house the cooler it's going to be," said Joyner.

If you just can't bring yourself to close your blinds, you can purchase do-it-yourself window tinting kits around $40 and look professional.

You might think you can save money by taking a bath since you're using less water but, the truth is, you're not. You're actually using more than a shower, unless you're the shower type who take 30-45 minutes.

Finally, make sure your AC unit is in the right size for your home. A unit that's too large for your home will use more energy than necessary.

Some utility companies offer free energy surveys for residential properties. Those are great ways to find out exactly what you need done to your home to save money.

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