I get afraid to walk to the mailbox during the summer months. I never know when it will be there waiting for me. The envelope I fear the most this time of year is the dreaded utility bill. It is so heavy with bill weight, it nearly makes my mailbox list to the right. Okay, maybe not but it sure seems like it should. I have always felt a bit powerless when it comes to the power bill during the summer. The house has to be cooled and I know that over 40 percent of that bill will be from the HVAC system. So this year, I decided to be a bit more proactive about attempting to mitigate some of the energy costs. First, I joined the new millennium by installing a smart thermostat. This thing does a fantastic job of managing the HVAC efficiently. The smart thermostat also has the capability to synch up with our blinds. The automatic blinds I put in a few years ago sort of became forgotten. The novelty of the automatic blinds wore off pretty quick. But now, I am able to sync the blinds to the smart thermostat. The smart thermostat has sensors that indicate when ambient temps are rising in certain rooms. It then is able to have the auto blinds close where and when it needs them to. I have also employed the ceiling fans a great deal more. Instead of knocking down the temperature a few degrees, I crank the overhead fans up a notch. They don’t actually cool the air but, they do trick your skin into feeling cooler. I’m hoping that these efforts will result in at least a 15 percent savings on peak energy costs during the height of summer. Maybe I can even walk to the mailbox alone.