Homeowners in the area have buckled down for the summer, ensuring that their air conditioners perform as expected and taking steps to keep cool in the midst of the scorching July heat. That usually means paying more in monthly energy bills for keeping the system running, which is to be expected. Obviously, air conditioners need to run more often when the weather is hot. But that doesn’t mean that residents should pay more than is necessary to keep their homes cool, and indeed there are a number of ways to keep those energy bills down. Some of them involve simple and basic steps such as dressing in lightweight clothes around the home or setting the thermostat a few degrees higher than one might normally do.