The dog days of summer have officially made their debut. As some of us escape these sultry days by residing near a body of water, you can find the rest of us taking shelter in the cool indoors. But with rising temperatures and more time at home (now, more than ever before), we’re finding ourselves with rising energy bills, too. Before you sacrifice your AC unit, follow our energy saving tips to keep you (and your wallet) comfortable for the remainder of the summer.

Use Fans

To keep your air conditioning cost down, turn up your thermostat up a few degrees and use fans to keep air circulating. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using a ceiling fan will let you raise the thermostat by 4 degrees. Make sure your fan is running in a counterclockwise direction as you look up at it. During the summer, you want the fan to blow air straight down.

Avoid Using Your Oven

With temperatures rising, it’s hard to keep cool in a hot kitchen. A few changes to your kitchen habits can help keep your home energy bills at bay. Limit your oven and stove use during hotter months. Throw together a refreshing meal and get your grill on outdoors!

Hang Dry Your Clothes

The silver lining to working from home? Drying your laundry outdoors during the week, of course! Time reports that a single t-shirt can send up to 9 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air over its lifetime, most of which is associated with laundering. Make a difference by washing your clothes in cold water and hanging them out to dry under nature’s most abundant resource, the sun!

Shade Your Home

Window curtains and blinds can be your best ally for beating the summer sun. Closing your blinds during the heat of the day can help your house stay cooler and reduce the workload on your AC unit. Even better, turn on ceiling fans to help keep air circulating.

Unplug it

From your toaster oven to your computer, all electronics can produce heat, and can even drain power when not in use. Keep your home cool while saving on your electricity costs by unplugging any energy vampires you’re not using. These phantom suckers can account for as much as 5% – 10% of household electricity consumption and are approximately accountable for 1% of global CO2 emissions.

Subscribe to a Community Solar Farm

Community solar is an easy way to lower your electricity costs year-round. And guess what? There’s no need to install solar panels on your roof. Community Solar with Nexamp offers subscribers 12.5% savings off their annual electricity costs. Our solar farms produce clean energy that is sent directly to the electric grid. Subscribers receive credits on their bills that cover most, if not all, of their electricity costs. If you’re eligible, simply upload your utility bill here.

Challenge yourself year-round by applying some of the above energy saving tips and create smart energy habits to help save money, while benefiting the planet!