COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – It may be back-to-school season, but the sun is still beating down and driving up those energy bills.

It’s on the minds of many as those end-of-summer costs start to roll in. There are a few things individuals can check right now to manage their air conditioning costs.

The first, which is one that can easily be overlooked, is to make sure the filter and outdoor units are clean.

“Imagine you’re trying to run a marathon breathing through a straw. You’re going to get worn out pretty quickly. So cleaning an outdoor unit, all of a sudden you can take a full breath of air,” HVAC Service Tech Tanner Schopman said.

Schopman said he responds to a lot of calls where the issue is a dirty unit.

“Every year we get calls in both winter and summer where either an air conditioner’s frozen, a furnace has shut off due to overheating because that filter is not allowing the proper amount of air to pass through it,” Schopman said.

He said an AC unit sucks moisture out of the air so adding a dehumidifier to a home can help it run better and reduce those bills.

It’s something that’s on the mind of Columbus resident Sara McCormick.

“It’s really hard to budget just because with the price hikes we’re sort of at the mercy of the utility companies and we need to keep our house comfortable for children and pets and just a comfortable way of life,” McCormick said.

She follows another piece of advice: don’t set the temperature too high when leaving the house. If it’s set at 72, only bump it up a few degrees when leaving.

“We’re all feeling the pinch. And we just do what we can that’s appropriate for each of our houses to keep the cost down,” McCormick said.

Heading into cooler temperatures the advice is similar. Get ahead on checking equipment and get minor repairs fixed before they become major and before it gets cold out.