Summer is in full swing, which can lead to higher-than-normal energy usage. But don’t sweat it. We have tips to help you conserve energy and gain control of your budget without sacrificing comfort. With a few changes to your daily routine, you’ll be soaking up energy savings. Let’s get started!

It’s easy to forget to have your HVAC system inspected when everything seems fine. But this is the prime time to do it! It increases your AC’s efficiency and detects minor issues before they become costly repairs.

During the summer months you want to keep the hot air out and the cool air in. Inspect your home for air leaks and replace weather stripping on doors and windows.

Your air conditioner will work more efficiently when vents are not blocked by rugs or furniture. Check vents to make sure they are open, clear of dust, and directing air toward the center of the room.

Use thermal drapes or black-out curtains to keep the heat out and the cool air in. Installing shades on your east and west-facing windows can help absorb summer heat and UV rays before they enter your home.

Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms and set them to rotate counterclockwise to feel about 4° cooler. Remember, fans cool people not rooms. It’s important to turn them off when you leave a room.

Don’t make your AC unit work harder than it needs to. Set your thermostat 2 to 3° higher from 2 to 7 p.m. when energy demand is highest. This small change is significant enough to save energy while keeping you comfortable.

Avoid using the oven, which can raise your home’s overall temperature, and head outdoors to cook. If you don’t have a grill, any small appliance like a toaster oven or microwave, will do the energy-saving trick.

Avoid heat-emitting appliances like the dishwasher, washer and dryer during the hottest part of the day. Also, running back-to-back loads in your dryer is more energy efficient than single loads, since you can take advantage of heat buildup.

Replace outdoor lights with LED bulbs and use solar lights outside. They’ll only turn on when necessary, conserving energy. It’s a great way to save energy while taking advantage of summer’s plentiful rays.

Set a reminder on your smartphone to change your AC filter monthly. A clean AC filter can lower your energy consumption by up to 15% and improves cool air circulation in your home.

On mild days or cool nights, turn the air conditioner off and open windows for natural ventilation.

Take advantage of the long summer days and use natural light to reduce energy use during daylight hours.

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