By Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News & World Report

Cool can be costly

With energy costs on the rise, this summer could be sweaty — and expensive. But there are some easy ways to trim your cooling costs without suffering through 90-degree evenings, sans air conditioning. In fact, if you start preparing for the coming heat wave now, you can probably save a few hundred dollars. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor, since the Energy Department estimates that half of a household’s overall energy usage goes toward heating and cooling costs.

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9 ways to cut summer energy costs