How to raise the thermostat and stay comfortable

            It’s air-conditioning season, and that means a spike in your family’s energy use.

            This summer, make an effort to waste less cold air. Three quick do-it-yourself jobs will help:

            1. Buy an inexpensive caulk gun from a home-improvement store and caulk around your windows and doors. Little cracks can be a big energy waster because they let your comfortable, air-conditioned air out of the house.

            2. Inspect the interior side of your home’s exterior walls. There, you’ll find cable and phone cords coming inside. Around them are tiny gaps that double as escape hatches for cool air. They also let hot outdoor air sneak indoors. Caulk around them.

            3. Add insulation to your attic. Most homes are built with plenty of attic insulation to keep the hot air that pounds on your roof from finding its way inside. But over time, that insulation, deteriorates or gets knocked out of place. If that has happened in your attic, freshen up the insulation.

            Then, push the thermostat up to 78 degrees and turn on your ceiling fans. You’ll save energy and still feel comfortable.