Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - There’s good news for homeowners who want to reduce their energy costs. With a little bit of homework, savings are possible.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most Americans are paying more for electricity and natural gas than they did four years ago, with the average household utility bill now about $1,900 each year. And, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), heating and cooling accounts for about 56 percent of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes.

To reduce these costs, the experts at the Luxaire® brand of heating and air conditioning recommend the following:

• Adjust your thermostat. By raising your thermostat just a few degrees in mild temperatures and lowering it in cooler temperatures, you can help your heating and cooling system work less to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Programming your thermostat to accommodate your family’s time away from home and sleeping schedules will also help to ensure that your system is operating only when you need it.

• Install a dehumidifier. Humidity can make the air feel hotter and heavier in warm weather. By removing the humidity, the air will feel drier and cooler and you will be able to rely less heavily on your heating and cooling system to make the air comfortable.

• Perform regular maintenance. Clean air filters, seal any duct leaks and make sure the areas around your system are clear of obstructions. According to the EPA, improper insulation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30 percent.

• Have your existing home comfort system inspected and serviced by a qualified technician. The technician will make sure your system is working properly and at peak efficiency. A knowledgeable technician will also be able to recommend a new, more efficient replacement system, such as ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can help you save money on energy bills.

• Learn more. To learn more about efficient products that can help you save money and energy, or to find a heating and cooling contractor, visit www.luxaire.com.