When the weather warms up, it's natural to want to turn up the air conditioning and enjoy having a cool place to relax. However, your first electric bill of the summer can really turn the heat up on your finances. With that in mind, here are some tips to ensure that you save money and still beat the heat.

Don't run your AC nonstop while you're out

Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting only when you are at home and need cooling.

Use your windows to stay cool

If you live in a climate where it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.

Operate your thermostat efficiently

Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.

Use fans and ventilation systems

Using a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.

Conduct an energy assessment

Find out where you are losing the most energy and where you can save the most.  You can have a professional energy assessment or do it yourself for free using this Home Energy Saver auditing tool.

You can find more tips and strategies for saving money on your energy bill here.

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