Hints From Heloise: Conditioned to Save

Dear Heloise: I'm big on saving money, and lowering my air-conditioner bill is a great way to do it. Here are some hints I use, even in the heat of summer:● Comfort is key, but I've gotten accustomed to a room temperature of 78 to 80 degrees.● I keep my outdoor unit free of grass and bushes.● Ceiling fans often are all that I need to cool off, especially at night.● Closing blinds and window treatments, I've discovered, keeps the house cooler.● I replace and clean the AC filters regularly.● I don't have a room AC unit, but it's best to keep these out of direct sun.● I close the doors and vents to rooms I don't use, so they don't get cooled.● I turn up the AC when I'm away from home.My unit is fairly new, but if you have an older model, it's probably not as energy-efficient as it could be. I'd consider an upgrade.Mike C. in Arizona Mike C. in Arizona: Great hints! Use some of the dollars saved to have an ice-cream treat or cool glass of iced tea! Dear Readers: Jeri and Bill M., via email, sent a picture of their adorable papillon and corgi mix, Henry the IX (ninth). They got him "used" from a rescue group - he is their ninth pet, and he turned 11 years old on July 1! He always tilts his head when his name is called. He loves kids, car rides and sailboat trips!To see Henry the IX and our other Pet Pals, visit Heloise.com and click on "Pet of the Week." Do you have a funny, furry and fabulous friend? Send a picture with all the details to: . Dear Heloise: I bought an ice bucket with a good-fitting lid from the thrift store and lined it with a plastic produce bag. I put the waste from my cat's litter pan in it and change the bag once a week on trash day. The insulated bucket completely contains all the odor. Works great!Vicki L., Mansfield, Ohio Dear Heloise: My complaint is that many stores have their cart return far away from the accessible spots. I'm not disabled, but my wife is.Gary H. in Maine Dear Heloise: An old golf bag can be used in the garage to store mops and brooms, etc. It holds a lot and doesn't take up a lot of space.Elaine H., Port Charlotte, Fla. Dear Heloise: Why all the stubble? Every man can be cleanshaven. Just shave twice - once going down, and once going up!Phil in Arcadia, Calif. Heloise's column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or email it to . 2017, King Features Syndicate

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