If you're anything like me, you've enjoyed the weather in Eastern Iowa the past several days. Highs in the 70's and lows at night in the 50's. Not bad for the middle of June! It's allowed most of us to turn off the air and open things up. But hot summer weather is on the way back, and your air is likely going to get turned back on too. So how can you avoid paying through the nose to keep your home cool?

The site My Trusted Contractor has several tips that could save you money this summer on cooling your home. The first is to check your windows and doors to see if they're sealed properly. An easy way to check is head outside while your air is running and run your hand along closed windows and doors. If you feel a draft, make sure it is completely shut and properly caulked.

Something else you should notice is where your thermostat is located in your house. If it sits on an exterior wall or near a window it could register an incorrect reading, causing your AC to run more than it needs to. It will cost money to move, but it could end up saving you in the long run, especially if you switch to a smart thermostat.

So now the big question. What temperature should you set your thermostat to? The U.S. Department of Energy suggests a setting of 78 degrees when you are NOT at home. Having a programable thermostat should make this easy. You can then program it to go a bit lower when you arrive home. Just remember the lower you go, the more you'll have to pay on your monthly bill! The Brainard home stays nice and cool and we never dip below 75 degrees while we're home!