With the hot weather bearing down on you in Naples during summer, it is important to get a handle on your air conditioner costs which average about 40% of your total electrical bill. Here is a list of the top seven things you can do to lower your utility bills and keep your home running efficiently in the summer months. You might be surprised by number six.

1. Know the square footage: It is crucial to know the number of BTU's or British Thermal Units you need when cooling your home. It is much easier to calculate the size of air conditioning unit you should buy when you know the correct usage. Measure the length and the width of the room and multiply the numbers by each other to get the square footage. For rooms with odd shapes, measure each square or rectangle separately and total them up. Usually 8,000 BTU's is sufficient for a 350 square-foot room.

2. Buy Energy Star: You can compare models that fall into the correct BTU range to see what will operate most efficiently in your home. Experts recommend shopping for deals on air conditioners near the end of summer to get the best prices. Waiting until Cyber Monday or Black Friday may be a good option.

3. Go central air for large spaces: While it is efficient to use a window unit for a back bedroom or a part of the home that stays hot, it is not a good idea for large houses. Central AC units run much smoother in big homes, and they cool the air much easier than window models.

4. Buy programmable: When you choose to get a new programmable thermostat for your home, you should consider buying a one that connects to a mobile app. When you program the thermostat to lower the air conditioning during times when everyone is gone, then you save money on your utility bills.

5. Pay attention to your filters: If your filter looks dirty after two weeks, then you might want to replace them. Usually, a change once a month does the trick. Dirty filters restrict air flow making your cooling unit work harder and longer which costs you more money.

6. Use your ceiling fan: Yes. We are telling you to run a fan and your air conditioning at the same time. Using a ceiling fan pushes the hot air that rises back down where it goes through cooling again. This action saves energy and money in the long-term.

7. Thick curtains work: Buying double-thick drapes is an excellent way to block out heat. Most curtains are lined with white to reflect sunlight. You can also hang blackout curtains. There are are also other window treatments available that can reduce the heat in your home.

Using a few easy tips can help save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. AC uses a lot of electricity, so the more efficient your model, the more comfortable your wallet and home. Air conditioning is affordable when following practical cooling tips from the experts.