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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The start of summer and the hot weather that follows can be a budget buster.

There are ways to save dollars and keep more in your pocket when paying that utility bill.

Scorching days are on the horizon. The biggest consumer of energy in homes is the air conditioner.

There are ways to stay comfortable and put a few bucks back in your pocket. Air conditioners are more efficient then they use to be. What happens outside at the meter is directly connected to what you do inside its starts with the thermostat.

Robin Williams said she learned from experience that a cool house comes with a price tag. She for one has settled on 78 degrees.

Keeping air conditioners running is what Mark Young does for a living. He's a firm believer in preventative maintenance. Young said when things start to go wrong, electric bills start to go up.

What homeowners can control is how long the compressor runs.

"For every degree you set it lower, your energy bill is going up. So they like it set 78 the comfort zone is between 72-78. If keep at 78, your electric bill will be lower," Young said.

Williams is all about having a lower bill. Ceiling fans she says helps. Unplugging appliances too she says makes a difference.

"I unplug microwave, anything that I'm not using, like the TVs, microwaves anything that I'm not using," she said.

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