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As the weather outside gets warmer, here's how you can save on energy

OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - With warmer weather now taking over Omaha and as the heat begins to build up, a lot of people will turn to backyard streams to keep cool. An air conditioning unit is another way, but if you're not careful don't expect to conserve energy.

"Big thing off the cuff is simple, routine maintenance," said Ben Kratz, a heating and cooling expert.

Kratz told FOX 42 News Tuesday there are a few factors that can limit your unit's service life.

"The cottonwood, the dirt and the grass. Whatever is going on there."

If you don't notice that, you could end up paying a pretty penny for a replacement. It's why Kratz offers this advice to customers.

"Get that checked out, cleaned and running to the best efficiency as possible."

Of course, it's not just what's on the outside that can help you save on energy, you also have to be aware of what's on the inside.

According to the Omaha Public Power District, there are plenty of power hogs there. Those include microwaves, cable boxes, DVD players and garage door openers. It's why the electric utility recommends you use those wisely. To conserve even more energy, home improvement experts have a few other suggestions. Those include turning off lights not in use, eliminating dark shingles and making sure the siding to your home is a lighter color.

"It's huge for what you're going to do to your home efficiencies."

Kratz also recommends you install a smart thermostat. That will allow you to control the temperature of your home when you're away.

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