Now that summer is in full swing, many of us are finding these toasty temps to be unbearable. The air conditioners are in overdrive right about now, and while you’ve stopped sweating, your temperature may skyrocket again when the electric bill arrives. (Friendly reminder: Be sure to stay on top of payments — a delinquent utilities account can ultimately wind up in collections and hurt your credit score. You can see where you currently stand by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your two free credit scores, updated each month, on Credit.com.)
Good news: If you try some of the tips below, you may be able to ease off the A/C and save some dough in the process.
1. Go Digital
A digital thermostat will allow you to control the temperature in your home and save you some money along the way. They are pretty easy to self-install if you are handy (ish). You can program the thermostat to cool the house when you are typically home, ideally setting it at an energy efficient 78 degrees or higher. Of course, this may take some adjusting to – remind your family that it doesn’t have to be icebox-cold to be comfortable.
2. Use Sun Block
Don’t you just love it when the sun is streaming in the windows and dappling everything in the room? Pretty as those rays are, they are also elevating the temperature in your house. Enjoy those sunbeams while you’re in the room, but get into the habit of closing the curtains or blinds when you exit. According to a spokesperson at Energy Upgrade California, a statewide energy educational initiative, closing your curtains can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees and save you up to 7% on your monthly bill.
3. Become a Fan of Fans
Don’t think of a ceiling fan as a sorry replacement for an air conditioner. They can be money-savers when used properly. Chris Rattray of the Marion County, Oregon, branch of heating and air conditioning provider Aire Serv, says, “Consumers can lower their utility bills during the summer months by using ceiling fans (running in a counterclockwise motion) to create a wind chill effect, which can allow you to reduce your thermostat by 4 to 7 degrees and still be comfortable. The fans should be turned off when leaving the room. This can help cut your cooling bill by up to 30%.”
You can find more tips for making your home more energy efficient this summer on Credit.com.
This article originally appeared on Credit.com.