The heat has been brutal this summer. The good news is that it doesn't look like we'll be seeing triple digit temperatures anytime soon.

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My wife and recently started having issues with our air conditioner, and we aren't the only ones. Several people we know are having the same issues.

Our home has no shade to block any of the incoming sun, so in the summer months the AC stays cranked. These tips will help you stay cool without putting so much strain on your AC system.

Open the windows when possible.

In the evening, if you happen to be lucky enough to have a cool breeze coming through, open some windows to help cool the house off. You can ease off using your AC so much, giving it a much needed break.

Change your filters regularly.

Stay on top of changing out your filters. The recommended time frame to change them out is once every 30 days. Do it on the first day of the month, and you'll never forget.

Turn off the lights.

There's more than just the electricity bill to consider when it comes to making sure you turn the lights out. Lights left on can add to your home staying warmer. Let some natural light in if possible.

Don't use as many appliances.

Everyone knows that using the stove or oven is going to more than likely heat up the house. If you can, limit your use. Obviously, that is going to help your home stay cool.

At least we're almost out of the summer months, and our focus will no longer be on staying cool. Instead it will be on how to stay warm in those brutal Texas panhandle winds.