Summertime can bring a great deal of fun through swimming, family barbecues, and other outdoor activities. However, as the temperature rises outside, electric bills tend to skyrocket. Below, you’ll find several tips that can help keep your bill lower, including information on how to prevent cold air from escaping home.

1. Give Your AC a Check-Up

Did you know that a clogged AC filter alone can raise your cooling costs? Additionally, it can make your unit work harder and potentially break down. One of the first steps to take is to clean your filter. Also, it’s wise to call in an AC expert to make sure your unit is functioning optimally.

2. Keep Your Air Inside

The last thing you want is for the air you’re paying for to make its way outside. Unfortunately, this is a common issue, as even small holes and cracks provide an escape. Dedicate some time to look for various areas where air could be escaping and either use caulk or weatherstripping to address them. Be sure to inspect areas such as:

  • Around your plumbing, specifically under your sinks
  • Around your doors and windows
  • Around outlets

Some areas, such as large gaps at the bottom of doors, might require a larger fix like a door sweep. Expansion foam can also be useful for large gaps around plumbing. Additionally, you can purchase socket sealers for light switches and outlets.

3. Add Some Insulation

While it’s a more expensive step, adding or replacing insulation is a great way to save on energy costs for years to come. Many older homes are lacking insulation, especially in the attic, or the insulation is simply old and no longer effective.

4. Keep An Eye On Doors and Windows

Sometimes, air escapes due to a window or door not being closed properly. Additionally, some homes are made with windows that open from both the top and the bottom. This can be convenient, but sometimes, the top panel will slide down on its own. It’s a good idea to make it a regular habit to check that all doors and windows are closed fully.

You might also consider getting new windows, especially if the old ones won’t close all the way or if the top panel slips down constantly. Opt for double-pane windows, as these provide extra insulation.

5. Put Your Fan to Work

One of the most effective ways to cut back on energy costs is to keep your thermostat set to around 78 degrees. However, this can seem excruciating to some in the summer.

One way to combat the misery is to turn on your ceiling fan when you are in the room. Ceiling fans help the air circulate while using less energy. Turn the fan off when you’re done with the room, though, so you’re not wasting unused energy.

6. Make Good Use of Curtains and Blinds

Curtains and blinds are good for more than privacy. They can help offset the heat of the sun. Keep them closed during the hottest hours of the day, which tend to fall between two in the afternoon and seven in the evening. Open them – as well as your windows – in the morning and at night to take advantage of the cooler air. Don’t forget to turn off your AC during this time.

7. Adjust How You Cook

Everyone loves a good homemade meal, but summertime isn’t usually the best time for them. Using your oven makes the temperature in the kitchen and surrounding rooms rise, which causes the AC to work harder – costing you more money.

Instead, adapt your cooking to the season. When possible, try getting cooking done earlier in the day or later in the evening when you’ve got the natural cool air blowing through your home. If and when that isn’t possible, aim for making slow cooker meals, cooking outdoors, or keeping dinner simple with something like sub sandwiches.

Don’t let your energy bills get the best of you this summer. Even putting just a few of the steps above in place can help lower your energy costs and keep you more comfortable.