If you are like many homeowners, you might feel as if you are in shock every time that your receive a summer electric bill. Keeping your home cool when it's sweltering hot isn't easy, and the added work on the part of your air conditioning system can result in much higher electric costs. You don't have to replace your air conditioning unit with a new, more energy efficient model just to lower your light bills, although doing so would obviously help. Instead, try these easy DIY tips today, and you're sure to find a lower number when you open up your next electric bill.    

1. Change Your Filter

It's an easy thing to forget, but failing to change your air conditioning filter according to the manufacturer's instructions can cause your unit to have to work a whole lot harder. Plus, not having a clean air filter in can affect the quality of your indoor air, which is never good for you or your family. It's not a bad idea to go ahead and buy a large box of air filters; then, if you have them on hand and in an easy-to-see place, it'll be easy to remember to change your filters on time.

2. Caulk Your Windows

Unless your windows are brand new, there is a good chance that they are letting some hot air into your home. This can affect your heating costs in the winter, too. Purchase a tube of caulk and a caulking gun -- it's never a good idea to apply caulk without one of these guns, since you'll inevitably use too much -- and apply a thin bead of caulk all the way around each window in your home. Smooth it out with a clean cloth, and allow it to dry. Then, you won't have to worry about as much hot air leaking in.

3. Add Weatherstripping Around Your Exterior Doors

Just as your windows are probably letting hot air into your home, there's a good chance that your exterior doors are doing the same thing. Purchase strips of weatherstripping from a home improvement store, carefully remove your existing weatherstripping and gently and carefully press it into place. This will create a better seal around your exterior doors and will help prevent cool air from leaking outside.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer who is looking for a few easy projects, consider tackling these this weekend. Then, you can help your air conditioner operate more efficiently and can reduce the cost of your next electric bill.